On Friday, April 29th, Clark-Shawnee Local School District sent four student teams to present at the FlexFactor Regional Competition at Sinclair Community College. Two of the Clark-Shawnee teams placed in the top three at the event.
Sariah Echols and David Hawk received second place for their presentation “2 Sense”. This project outlined a device that interprets for those who are blind and deaf. While there are currently items on the market to assist with one sense, there has not been a device created that interprets for both simultaneously.
Audrey DeSantis and Abigail Klemmensen received third place for their presentation “The Pillar”. The Pillar is a locked medication dispensing device designed for the older population and those who may forget or may accidentally take a double dose. The Pillar can also alert an individual’s loved ones if they have not taken their medication.
Matt Williams and Codi Ridenour presented “The CRC”, the Carbon Reduction Capture Filter which seeks to reduce pollution. This filter is designed to eliminate carbon dioxide and other dangerous emissions from automobiles.
Kaiden Warfel, Gabe Seniours, and Franklin Sparks presented “Leaner and Greener”. For this project, students researched how to increase the efficiency of gas engines to eliminate the need for electric cars.
The four teams were composed of students from Mrs. Rosie Matthies’ Statistics class and Mr. Bob Delong’s Applied Chemistry class. They were chosen to present at the Regional Competition based on their scores at the local competitions.
“The presentation part of the project provided huge growth in our students,” said Clark-Shawnee Teacher, Mr. Bob Delong. “I was so thrilled by how they stepped up when they were on the big stage at the regional and rose to the occasion giving their best presentations so far.”
The FlexFactor program, by NextFlex, is a collaborative technology and entrepreneurship program that encourages students to develop critical thinking, creative reasoning, and problem-solving skills. FlexFactor is a curriculum that is designed for high school teachers to integrate into their classrooms. This year, 67 teams representing five high schools participated in the competition.
“One of the reasons I love the project is because it takes the students through an entire problem-solving process,” said Clark-Shawnee Teacher Mrs. Rosie Matthies. “They worked on it for 12 weeks. The students got different viewpoints, researched, collaborated, and created. The program checked a lot of the boxes that we have not been able to hit the past couple of years.”
The project and competition required students to first identify a problem they wanted to solve. Students researched the problem and narrowed their focus to find a solution. Next, students built a business model to support their solution. Finally, they pitched their product or solution to a panel of academic and industry professionals, “Shark Tank style,” said Matthies.
“I have been completely thrilled with the effort that our students put in as well as their improvement from the beginning to end,” said Mr. Delong. “The creativity shown has been outstanding.”
Shawnee plans to continue FlexFactor in the 2022-2023 school year and expand the program into additional classrooms.
“Students are developing important skill sets that will be used again whether in college, their career, etc.,” said Matthies. “It’s an opportunity for hands-on learning and experiences as they choose a topic they are passionate about or interested in and learn everything they can.”
Of the 67 high school teams, 10 teams were invited to compete at the regional level. Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted also attended the event to encourage and inspire the students presenting. During the regional competition, students presented to a panel of 7 judges from the Dayton area.
Judges for the Sinclair College 2022 Regional FlexFactor Competition:
Matthew (Matt) Winkle – Associate Director for the Office of Career-Technical Education, Ohio Department of Education
April Vanover-Fastlane – Workforce Development and Government Relations Managing Director, UDRI
Cassie Barlow, Ph.D. – President, Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE)
Ronald Ulrich – Chair, Sinclair Community College Advanced Manufacturing & Industrial Engineering Technology
Rachel Johanson – Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation
Nina Joshi – President and CEO, UES, Inc.
Giorgio Bazzan – Program Manager, Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Division
First place was awarded to Miamisburg High School students Shelby Bettendorf, Summer Wright, and Brooke Steinbrunner for their project, “The Bully Tulli”. The first place team members each received $500 scholarships through the Sinclair Community Outreach Grant.