RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - A project by some young students in Richmond Hill is getting national attention.
Students are sharing and developing some impressive ideas before the school day even starts at Richmond Hill Middle School.
“It’s honestly been great and fun to explore the idea of giving the visually impaired a new option,” said Wyatt Zech, RHMS 7th grader.
The Imagineers, a group of 7th graders, are developing a voice-activated app that would help visually impaired individuals navigate around their school using Blue Tooth technology.
They’re not doing it for a class or a club, but for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. And they’re doing quite well in the competition.
“Now that we have gotten into this and the kids have gotten some confidence, and the fact that we have won for the state of Georgia, which we did not have a thought that we could do, that motivation has changed the way that they are seeing this,” said Jamesa Broome, RHMS math teacher.
The group has won $15,000 in technology for the school as one of two state finalists, and have learned equally valuable lessons while working together on the project the first 45 minutes of the day in an extended learning period.
“The group is great. It’s so easy to talk to people and learn something new every day,” said Broome.
“We’ve come such a long way since the beginning of the idea,” said 7th grader Gabriella Brodany. “We’ve gotten so far, we’ve changed ideas, we’ve made it better. More cost effective.”
“Not only is it teaching me something, but it’s also teaching other students how to work with visually impaired people around the world,” said 7th grader Kitura Crow.
There’s the potential for another $150,000 in prizes as a national finalist, then champion. But for the Imagineers, their app impacting the lives of others is what’s really exciting.
“My philosophy as a teacher is, I want to teach them academics, but I want them to learn how to care for one another. So, I think there’s no other app that we could have chosen that would have done more of that. They’re finally looking at other students and put yourself in their shoes and how can we help them. That’s lifelong, that’s adult, that’s what I want my kids to see,” said Broome.
Since starting their project, the students have determined that their app could be used in any building, not just their school, and might even be a valuable tool for first responders.