Education

Published on May 25th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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District Five student places 2nd at national science and humanities competition

Pictured Chapin High School student Jared Adams (second from left) accepts his award during the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for his presentation on the “Creation of a Gait Correctional Device to Treat Mobility Disorders in Children.” 

CHAPIN – When Jared Adams graduates from Chapin High School on June 4, he will have accolades that few other high school students can claim: inventor, provisional patent holder and most recently the honor of national prize winner for an engineering project he researched and created at the Lexington-Richland School District Five high school.

Adams received a second place finish at this year’s National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for his presentation on the “Creation of a Gait Correctional Device to Treat Mobility Disorders in Children.” The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program invites high school students to submit papers on original research investigations in the sciences, technology, engineering or math areas. This year’s National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium was held April 29-May 2 in Maryland.

“I’m still taking it all in,” said Adams, who competed in the engineering division and hopes to continue his project while attending college in the fall. “Beyond winning the award and competing in the national symposium, my hope is to get the device permanently patented and get it out to all the physical therapists so that they can begin yielding better results for children with gait disorders.”

The idea for the research came from job shadowing and watching his mother who is a physical therapist, said Adams. Through two years of research, he created what he feels is a new, less cumbersome device for treating movement and walking abnormalities, commonly referred to as gait disabilities. The new device uses braces and plates, allowing trainers to stand over the patient and the child to better learn the motion of proper walking positions.

Results from a five-week experiment showed patients walking twice as fast in some cases, Adams said. Earning a grant from the District Five Foundation, Adams improved his original prototype. He now hopes to gain investors that will help him obtain a permanent patent, making the device available widespread as a viable treatment for most childhood gait disabilities.

“By assigning these research projects, we challenged the students to find a problem worth solving, find a potential solution and test it…Jared’s project did that,” said Chapin High School engineering teacher Lisa Maylath. “His real strength is communicating the message and the story of how and why he developed his project. When he explains his project, you can feel the real impact his device can have. Jared is the second student from South Carolina ever to place in this very prestigious stage filled with brilliant minds from across the United States and its territories. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”

Chapin High School Principal Dr. Akil Ross said, “Jared is a member of the first graduating class in Chapin High’s Academic Leadership Academy, and in that rigorous program we ask the students to create two-year research projects that solve a problem and make a major impact…Jared’s project is the perfect example of this. It is unique, innovative and groundbreaking. He’s passionate about this issue, truly wants to make a difference and we are so proud of all that he has accomplished.”

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