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FHS Students Take Top Prizes In AT&T Student Innovation Competition

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Franklin High School students Ajita Singh, left, and Tom Kowalsky talk about their recent wins in the AT&T annual Student Innovation Competition.

Ideas for devices that check surgically implanted mechanisms and provide a way to find lost items took the top two prizes in the fourth annual AT&T Student Innovation Competition.

The ideas were created by Franklin High School senior Ajita Singh, who thought up the medical device, and junior Tom Kowalsky, who devised the search device.

Singh, who came in first, won an Apple iPad Mini, while second place went to Kowalsky.

In the competition, students were encouraged to take an existing product and show how it could be used in an innovative way, or create a brand new product.

Six semifinalists were chosen, each of whom presented their ideas to a panel of four judges from AT&T.

Singh’s idea was for a device that could be attached to a smart phone and could scan surgically embedded devices – such as a pacemaker – in a body. The device would also use an app to send the information to the patient’s doctor.

“It would send medical reports to doctors to show that there are no problems with the device and that the body is not rejecting it,” she said.

Singh, who works as an opthamologist’s assistant and hopes to enter the profession herself, said she believed her device could save doctors time.

“I wanted to think of a way that doctors could conserve their time for the more serious patients,” she said.

Kowalsky said his idea was inspired by his mother.

“She’s always losing things,” he said.

Kowalski’s idea involves placing sensors on items, which are then registered into an app. A separate device could be used to search for them if they’re ever lost.

The app would also store information on where a particular item had been lost in the past, he said.

“The gadget would have thermal technology, so if you lost something, say, in a pile of laundry, you’d be able to find it,” he said.

Kowalsky said he found research that showed the average person spends the equivalent of two years of their life looking for lost things.

The students came from high school teacher Dan Riverso’s Marketing II class. The class also had another finalist, Somil Parekh, he said. Parekh’s idea was for a solar-powered phone, he said.

“Hopefully one of these guys invents their product,” Riverso said.

The program is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, according to a release. The contest is sponsored by AT&T’s Community Network African American Telecommunications Professionals of AT&T in partnership with the AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy and Junior Achievement.

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