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Shaker High School students earn second place in nationwide engineering competition

| January 6, 2016
Shaker High School seniors, Akhil Jacob, Thomas Bethon, and Cameron Curtin.

Shaker High School seniors, Akhil Jacob, Thomas Bethon, and Cameron Curtin.

For the seventh year in a row, Kevin Smith’s Engineering Capstone students have earned high accolades for their innovative projects, which go up against schools nationwide. This year, seniors Akhil Jacob, Thomas Bethon, and Cameron Curtin presented at the Interservice/Industry Training Simulation and Education Conference in Florida, (I/ITSEC), where they earned second place. The conference provides a venue for secondary school students to demonstrate technical projects they have developed which focus on modeling, simulation and training.

“There’s a lot of hard work on their part, but in the end they grow,” said Smith.

Jacob, Bethon, and Curtin’s innovation stemmed from the problem of fires that occur on ranges or stovetops, fires that can potentially end in tragedy for families. 

What resulted was an active stovetop fire prevention system, designed to be mounted between a stovetop and its hood. The system detects a fire if one is to occur, and automatically puts it out. The students’ brought their assembled prototype to the I/ITSEC conference.

“We were competing against computer simulation technology projects, and we were an engineering idea,” said Bethon. “We were against the odds. However, our strongest point was our presentation and how we were effectively able to show people our product.” 

In addition, Jacob was able to program some of the actual coding in the system’s processor.

“Once we get it to work, our plan is to make it look as aesthetically pleasing as possible,” said Bethon. “We want to have a homeowner actually want to buy it.”

Once the product is complete, Bethon, Jacob and Curtin plan to present it at a business plan competition this winter.

Shaker High School students have been able to attend the I/ITSEC conference thanks to a sponsorship by the Computer Science Corporation of America. The students attended the conference with their teacher, Kevin Smith. 

“The next step for the students is to market the product, and identify who the potential investors and customers are,” said Smith. “Often, when they get to college, they realize “wow I can take this to the next level.”

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