TUCKER, Ga. - A Georgia middle school class's device to help fight human trafficking has made the finals in a national contest, and you can help them win the whole thing.
Thursday, Tucker Middle School was named a finalist in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, which encourages students to solve real-world issues using STEM.
"STEM is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It's more than that, it's facilitated learning. Kids are challenged to create solutions to problems," eighth-grade STEM instructor Nathan Williams told FOX 5 earlier this week.
The students of Williams' class created an innovative silent alarm that could be placed like a fire alarm in airplane bathrooms. If a victim of human trafficking triggers the alarm, it alerts flight attendants, pilots, and the authorities.
The device also releases an adhesive for the victim to inconspicuously wear so that they can be tracked after getting off the plane.
Williams says one of his students came up with the idea, but each of them helped put the plan together to make it a success.
"Seeing all the people on social media talk about their experiences with sexual assault and human trafficking, it made me realize this situation needs more attention than it's getting," student Kayla Armstrong said. "I wanted to bring more attention to this problem in our community.
As part of their research, the team met with officials at the Office of Homeland Security and discovered the shocking fact that an average of over 300 women are trafficked in Georgia a month.
The team also worked with Georgia Tech professors who taught them about wearable technology to make their plan something that could work in the real world.
As part of the top 10 finalists, the students have already earned $65,000 in technology and classroom supplies, but they say the true reward is helping others.
"I'm definitely excited to see if we can actually save some lives," Armstrong said.
The students are now up for the grand prize of $130,000 when they pitch to a panel of Samsung judges.
You can help by voting for the Tucker Middle School's invention and see the rest of the competitors on the contest's website. Voting continues from now until April 26, and an individual can vote once a day.
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