Garland ISD

Garland ISD High School Awarded $10K Grant for Invention Designed to Keep Firefighters Safe

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Students at a Garland ISD high school have come up with an invention that is now getting national attention.

Students at the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center designed a system to sanitize firefighters’ boots to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

The design got the attention of the researchers at MIT. The high school was then given a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program, which promotes invention and the early stages of entrepreneurship across the United States.

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"Wow, we're working with the top. I hope we can apply that to everything else we do," said teacher Carmen Diaz.

The North Texas school was one of 13 across the country to receive the grant.

The school district's website states that the grant "encourages high school students to investigate problems evident in their own neighborhoods, come together as a team to select one problem that inspires them most, and invent a technological solution to that problem."

The students realized that the boots that firefighters wear often become covered in unsafe chemicals and present a health hazard to the firefighters and their families. Typically the boots only last about a year and cost more than $200.

So the class designed a box that blasts the boots with UV light to help sanitize them.

"A lot of times, we're nervous to be wrong and I'm like 'it's ok. I don't know everything,'" said student John Monigold.

Crew 7A of the Garland Fire Department and Captain Kevin Paige even came out to the school to assist the students in the build.

The final working prototype will be showcased at EurekaFest, an invention celebration in June of 2021.

You can follow along with the program's progress on Twitter or through the Lemelson-MIT Program website.

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