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Nashua South tech students present problem-solving ideas

NASHUA – There is homework, and then there is working at home to research, design and create a prototype that could be marketed as a solution to every-day problems.

That is how Nashua High School South students in the Nashua Technology Center program has devoted a large chunk of their free time.

Wednesday morning, two groups presented the results of their efforts before a panel of local engineering professionals, getting their feedback and suggestions on how to improve their products.

SLAY – the Southern NH Local Accessibility Youth Group – including seniors Ben Kaplan, Abby Finchum, TJ Klein, and junior Marina Blokhin – developed the Viva Drop, designed to help visually impaired and blind people to measure small amounts of liquid, such as that in a syringe.

Green Thumb, the team including Ulinma Stanley, Ashley Davis, Timothy Sanroma and Patrick Nguyen, created a koozie for aerosol cans to prevent them from over-heating and exploding. And, Three Blockatiers – Mal Guilmain, Ryan Salemi, and Andrew Staveley – who developed individual power blocks, with on/off switches, to replace multi-outlet power strips.

The volunteer engineering professionals on hand included:

Xaymara Perez, a senior principal mechanical engineer for Raytheon Missiles and Defense; Mordecai Veldt, a mechanical engineer for Durridge, which manufactures radon and thoron measurement devices; Christine Miska, the business area engineering director for the Countermeasure and Electromagnetic with BAE Systems; and Brad Goodman, a volunteer instructor and and resource manager at Make-It-Labs in Nashua and a hardware and software architect, and distinguished member of technical staff at Dell Technologies.

In developing their products the teams first researched the need, if any, for a particular device and adjusted their plans accordingly. Individual engineers on each team divided the work to match their areas of strength. Finally, with detailed design plans in place, the teams worked to meet a May 31 deadline for having their prototypes ready for evaluation.

A side benefit, as the Green Thumb team reported in their portfolio, was the opportunity to form connections with one another.

“We progressed from Strangers who barely spoke in class to teammates who talked about projects and how we were doing in general,” the statement read.

“We grew closer to one another and learned new things from one another.”

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