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Goddard High Students Earn National Recognition For Gun Safety Device

Courtest: Goddard Schools
Four students at Goddard High School developed a magentic device for gun safes that texts the safe's owner if it is removed.

A group of students at Goddard High School is among 20 national finalists for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest.

Four students — Tory Quattlebaum, Paige Albert, Michael Schrag and Luke Hampton — invented a magnetic cover for gun safes that send its owner a text if it’s removed. 

According to their submission video, firearms are the leading cause of death in teens ages 15 to 19. They say many of the guns used were stored in safes, but parents didn’t notice them missing.

The students say the device acts as another level of security.

Credit Courtesy of Goddard Schools
Michael Schrag is one of four students who are finalists in a national contest. The students won $50,000 for their school.

“I am actually going to college for engineering, so this is really helpful in learning how the design process really is implemented through real life because it's really different from just learning it on paper,” Albert says.

The students said they also gained new skills through the contest.

Quattlebaum had to learn Python, a high-level programming language, to make the safe-cover text delivery system work.

“It’s not intimidating at all when you get into it,” Quattlebaum says, “because that feeling of working on a project you’re really invested in ... when you finally get it to work, get your program to do what you want it to do, it makes it so worth it."

Samsung says its contest aims to encourage student interest in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — by challenging them to help their local community.

Both Albert and Quattlebaum want to encourage their peers to try engineering and programming.

“Everyone should try it, even if you don’t do it in school or go to school for it," Albert says. "Just do it, like, once and see if it’s good."

By qualifying for the finals, Goddard High received $50,000. The school says it will spend the money to update technology, including new computers and 3D printers.

The four students will travel to New York in April to present their invention in front of a panel of judges for the final round.

Nicole Grimes is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.