A team of eighth graders from North Pole Middle School were headed to New York this month, as national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. That trip has been postponed indefinitely.

But anyone can vote online until March 30 to help the team win the Community Choice Award, which means an extra $10,000 worth of technology and supplies for North Pole Middle School.

“We are sad, but understanding,” said teacher Anna M. Creamer, who led the team throughout this competition. The team was due to present their project to a team of experts.

The three girls — Danika Dawley, Lucy Reese and Raegan Kingry — 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.

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

The students on this team are exceptional, Creamer said.

“All three girls are not only brilliant, but athletes too,” she added. “They’re also all involved in student council, and Lucy and Danika were on our school’s winning Champions for Charity team two years in a row, where they have now raised over $7,000 for Give Kids The World.”

Give Kids The World is a theme park in Florida for families of children with life-threatening diseases.

The team initially won the STEM challenge as one of 100 state winners, and earned $15,000 in technology for their school. When they advanced to the Top 20, they earned $50,000 in technology and supplies for their school. The next round determines five national winners and the chance to win $100,000.

The online voting for the Community Choice Award goes through March 30 and you can vote once every day.

Vote here: www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow.

Spirit of Youth Winners

Fairbanks students were well represented when the 2020 Spirit of Youth Awards were announced this month. No additional details were available on any of these awards.

Spirit of Youth is a statewide organization dedicated to creating, promoting and recognizing youth involvement in communities across Alaska.

Grace Hopkins is a runner-up for the Innovator award. She raises hundreds of dollars annually for The Door Youth Shelter fundraiser “One Homeless Night.” According to Spirit of Youth, she actually builds a box city and spends the night outside.

Sheryl Swarner, of Fairbanks, won the Lifesaver award. She was recently involved in saving the lives of three teenagers.

Kevin Grimes won the Phoenix award. He is a member of Facing Foster Care in Alaska and mentors youth ranging in age from 13 to 25. Although he is only 18, he has already worked with politicians including Fairbanks City Mayor Jim Matherly, University of Alaska Fairbanks vice-chancellor Keith Champagne, former Alaska Governor Bill Walker and others.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.

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