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Blythewood students win top honors at Innovation Challenge

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Two students from Blythewood High School won the overall prize at the first statewide Innovation Challenge, presented by IT-oLogy and the South Carolina Department of Education.

The event is a competition for students in grades 3-12 who must create a project using technology to solve or bring awareness to a problem in the community.

“The jobs and careers available in our state and nation require graduates that are proactive hands-on learners that can apply their knowledge to solve real world problems,” Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education, said in a statement. “By participating in the inaugural Innovation Challenge, these students have demonstrated they are already driving their own success. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these bright learners.”

Samuel Cathcart and Abhimanyu Sailesh from Blythewood High School won the TM Floyd Top Innovator award for their portable elements synthesizer project.

Winners were selected from each of three age divisions, and showcased their projects at the South Carolina State Fair Oct. 21.

Elementary school winners include:

  • 1st – Andrew Simmons and Parker Tackett (Recycle Website) Spearman Elementary, Anderson 1, Teacher Beth Owings
  • 2nd –Justin Monroe and Ashlyn Bell (Dash Sweeper) Spearman Elementary, Anderson 1, Teacher Beth Owings
  • 3rd – Madeleine Strong and Hannah Crooks (Humane Society Drive) Merrywood Elementary, Greenwood 50
  • Honorable Mention (HM) – Saniya Gilbert and Carter Stephens (Recycling Program), Leaphart Elementary, Richland/Lexington 5, Columbia
  • HM – Jamison Cox and Jackson Thurman (Pollen Distributor) Spearman Elementary, Anderson 1, Teacher Beth Owings

Middle school winners include:

  • 1st – Shakaren Douglas and Treasure King (Earth Support App), Jackson STEM MS, Aiken
  • 2nd –Peyton Quickery (USB Pencil Sharpener), Ten Oaks Middle, Horry
  • 3rd – Cole Smith (FMS 6th Grade App) Forestbrook Middle, Horry
  • HM – Dorothy Chastain Weaver (Kidputer) Brockman Elementary, Richland One
  • HM - Samuel Bornfreund and Andrew Vaughan (3D Printed Rayless Hook), Ocean Bay Middle, Horry

High school winners include:

  • 1st – Samuel Cathcart and Abhimanyu Sailesh (Portable Elements Synthesizer), Blythewood High, Richland 2
  • 2nd – Jeffrey Carroll and Cody McWhorter (Digital Hall Pass), Laurens District 55
  • 3rd – Kaylie Smith and William Ayers (MAPS), R2I2, Richland 2
  • HM – David de Jesus (Visual Baby Monitor), Carolina Forest High, Horry
  • HM – Lauren Chen (GMO Foods), Irmo High

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