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These students have developed technology to protect their high schools during a shooting

In the era of mass shootings, some high school teens are taking their safety into their own hands.Two groups of high school students have been recogni...

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 7:38 AM

In the era of mass shootings, some high school teens are taking their safety into their own hands.

Two groups of high school students have been recognized in a nationwide contest for developing contraptions that would increase safety during a school shooting.

A team from Owensville High School in Owensville, Missouri, designed a simple auxiliary steel lock that would add an extra layer of protection to classroom doors.

And students from Richland Two Institute of Innovation in Columbia, South Carolina, devised an electromagnetic system that remotely locks doors and covers windows to seal off classrooms from threats.

The groups are two of 10 national finalists in Samsung's 2018-19 Solve for Tomorrow contest, which challenges students to use STEM skills to address real-world problems.

Their efforts come as schools across the United States have installed metal detectors, added resource officers and armed teachers in the wake of the February 2018 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Since then, by CNN's count, there has been a school shooting about every 12 days in the United States.

"We thought (school shootings were) a big problem and we decided we could do something about it to put students and teachers in more control of their own safety in case of a school shooter," Owensville senior Paige Tayloe said.

Making it harder for intruders to get in

The Owensville students created a steel door lock that can be added to any door.

The design consists of two brackets. One goes on the door, and the other goes on the doorjamb. A third piece slides into the brackets to lock the door from the inside -- out of view of a potential shooter.

Because typical door locks can be quickly dismantled with a firearm, the students' invention would make it harder for an intruder to get into a classroom.

The contraption is simple to use, said sophomore Jonah Hoffman, one of the students on the Owensville team. The students have already installed it on one classroom door and plan to mass-produce it for the rest of the school, as well as for neighboring schools.

Locking down classrooms in an instant

In Missouri, nine Richland Two students devised an electromagnetic door lock and curtain system. With the press of a remote button, the wireless system could close and lock classroom doors and lower curtains over the doors' windows.

The idea stemmed from students' frustration with the school district's security measures, which required teachers to keep doors closed at all times.

"With the recent uptick in shootings and concerns for school safety, we were asked to close our doors," instructor Kristin Bullington said. "The students were a bit frustrated by that and wanted to look for a solution."

Sophomore Emma Taylor said she saw how the policy hurt students' morale.

"Most of our campus is very open and we love using the space," Taylor said. So the students sought to "find a way to have everyone working throughout this space" but also quickly close doors if needed, she added.

The students are excited by the idea that their creation could apply to other businesses, offices and even airports.

"Enthusiasm grew as they realized they hadn't just completed a project for class," Bullington said, "but created a solution that really could be implemented in their community."

As national finalists, the schools will receive $50,000 in Samsung technology and classroom supplies. They will travel to New York for a pitch event on April 1 to compete against eight other schools for a grand prize of $100,000 in tech and supplies.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
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Sumter90026
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Coosa63215
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