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St. Dominic FIRST LEGO Team Presents Design to Ochsner Panel

(November 19, 2012) Students from St. Dominic School’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO team visited Ochsner’s Jefferson Highway campus on November 15 to present their Senior Solutions 2012 Challenge entry to a panel of Ochsner judges.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams worldwide were put to the task this year of improving “the quality of life for seniors by helping them continue to be independent, engaged, and connected in their communities.” As part of the challenge, teams are required to seek professional input on their designs, and Ochsner was glad to provide a panel of employees with interest and expertise in geriatric care and occupational and physical therapy.

At the beginning of their project, the St. Dominic’s team met with a couple who expressed concerns about falling, the effect on their confidence and overall quality of life, and the high cost of monitoring devices with monthly fees. Through concerted work, the team developed the WRIST (Watch Rescue in Speedy Time) Band, a device resembling a watch that works in pairs to notify a caretaker or partner when its wearer falls or shows signs of cardiac distress. In addition to notification, the WRIST Band allows the wearer to page, communicate with, and track the location of the wearer of another band and also performs simple time-keeping functions.

With their design, the students hope to offer a sense of safety to persons at risk of falling and a way to automatically notify their relatives, friends, or caretakers. The presentation was well received by the Ochsner panel, and the members of the panel provided constructive feedback and ideas, some of which the students plan to implement as they move toward the competitive portion of the 2012 Challenge where they will vie for aid in patenting their design.

Founded in 1998, FLL is a robotics program for children aged 9 to 16 years (14 in the US) that focuses on developing children’s interest in science and technology and on teaching important employment and life skills. FLL is comprised of more than 20,000 teams in more than 70 countries.

Academic Outreach thanks the following Ochsner employees who comprised our panel for this event: Kim Carlson, Katie Dutruch, Kris Huber, Erin Mara, and Kathleen McFadden.

For more information about Academic Community Outreach programs, visit our website, call the Academic Outreach office at 504.842.3237, or email us at EducationOutreach@ochsner.org.  

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