North Pole STEM students

This team of eighth graders from North Pole Middle School, along with their teacher Anna Creamer, are in the Top 20 of finalists for the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow contest. From left, Danika Dawley, Lucy Reese and Raegan Kingry. 

A team of eighth graders from North Pole Middle School are among 20 teams named as national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. They head to New York City at the end of the month to present their project to a team of experts, for the next round of competition.

The team designed a wearable, nonmedical device that will vibrate at different intervals of time, helping students diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stay more engaged in learning, and mitigating the likelihood of distractions.

Their teacher, Anna Creamer, excitedly shared the news with the team the day she found out they advanced in the competition.

“I called them into my classroom, before announcements, and they were super excited, jumping up and down,” she said.

This was Creamer’s third time entering the contest with students and she marveled at all of the entries who made the final 20.

“Ours seemed so simple, but that is the beauty of it,” she said.

Students carefully researched ADHD. They learned that about 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in America, resulting in poor concentration in the classroom, ultimately affecting their academic performance.

The students designed this band as a nonconfrontational and nonverbal reminder for the wearer.

“The user can program it to buzz at intervals,” Creamer said. Timing can be determined for individual students. The idea is that stimulus will remind students to focus when the mind starts to wander.

She praised the team for their hard work.

“They are a really awesome group of girls,” she said. “The type of students that are really nice, really hard working. They give it all even when it’s not required. They are really creative, really compassionate kids.”

The students are Danika Dawley, Lucy Reese and Raegan Kingry.

The contest, in it’s 10th year, challenges students in sixth through 12th grade to creatively use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to address real-world issues in their communities.

Both North Pole Middle School and Nenana City School were listed among 100 state winners. Each school was to receive $15,000 in technology to mark the achievement.

Now that North Pole Middle School has advanced to the Top 20, the school will also receive $50,000 in technology and supplies. The next round will determine five national winners and the chance to win $100,000.

There’s also a competition for the Community Choice Award for an additional $10,000 worth of technology and supplies for the school. Just watch the team’s video here and cast a vote online here You can vote once a day through March 30. The winner is determined by online public voting.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.