OHS STEM students’ visit to D.C. next week includes presentation on school door safety device to leaders

Roxie Murphy
Staff Writer

Ahead of their trip next week to Washington, D.C, Fox 2 News interviewed Owensville High School’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students Friday night in the OHS STEM lab about their April 2 win at the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest in New York City.

STEM students, Jonah Hoffman, Paige Tayloe and Trey Fisher, along with their student advisor and teacher Kevin Lay, were recipients of a paid trip to New York City during the first week of April to compete against other finalists at the state level. They presented their project — a security door lock that the trio developed — to a panel of judges.

Students will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., from April 30 to May 3 to present their security door lock mechanism to the country’s leaders and representatives.

“We leave out next Tuesday,” Lay said.

The group’s tentative agenda includes their arrival in Washington, D.C., on April 30, a welcome dinner and a trolley tour. They meet with government leaders on May 1 in the morning and afternoon. A lunch will be held in between the morning and afternoon meetings, followed by a Consumer Electronics Showcase event that evening on Capitol Hill. Samsung will host a lunch celebration on May 2.

“We are staying an additional day, May 3, so that the students can truly enjoy the D.C. experience together,” Lay said. “We will be visiting historical landmarks and museums while we are there on that extra day or two.” The agenda is unclear when students are expected to present their program on their invention, but they will be ready when the time comes, said Lay. 

Students were notified April 4 that they would have a week to spend $100,000 on technology and other specific items that would benefit the school. Lay was asked by the district to determine what various departments in the four buildings needed, and spent a total of $99,999.96 by the deadline. According to Cat Dillon, Samsung’s public relations assistant account executive, the district was assisted via Samsung’s partnership with DonorsChoose.org.

“Samsung partnered with DonorsChoose.org — the nation’s largest fundraising site for public school teachers — to fulfill the technology orders for all the winning schools,” Dillion wrote to The Gasconade County Republican on Thursday. “DonorsChoose.org requested that all orders be submitted by April 10 for the best chance that the technology would arrive before the end of the school year.”

OHS managed to submit their order by the April 10 deadline, but Dillon says the students received so much more than their winnings. “Indeed, Owensville High School selected all the technology they needed with four cents to spare!” Dillon wrote in her April 18 email. “However, their winnings really went beyond the $100,000 in technology. Every student in the project group also received a Samsung tablet for their own personal/home learning use (approximately a $329.99 retail value each). Mr. Kevin Lay and the three students also received an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City earlier this month.”

(To view Jeff Bernthal’s Fox 2 interview conducted April 19 go to by https://fox2now.com/2019/04/19/owensville-high-school-students-create-po...).