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Edmond students win national science award

Three students from John Ross Elementary School in Edmond s designed a system to protect children left in cars.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Published: April 29, 2014

A child’s concern for a pet in a hot car set in motion an idea that has brought national recognition to an Edmond elementary school.

The 22nd annual ExploraVision science program, sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association, has awarded three second-graders at John Ross Elementary in Edmond a national first place award.

The students won in the kindergarten through grade 3 division for their hot car warning safety design concept. The students came up with the idea of an alarm system to prevent babies, toddlers and pets from being left in a hot vehicle.

Elora Johnson, Neel Mandal and Ciara Newberry won a trip to Washington, D.C., in June. There they will be formally recognized while showing off their idea. They also will tour Capitol Hill, meeting with members of Congress.

Each winning team member also receives a $10,000 savings bond.

“This was a great surprise,” said Heidi Walter, John Ross enrichment teacher.

This was Walter’s fourth team in seven years to win a regional competition, but the first to win at the national level. The team competed against teams from five other national regions, she said.

“A drum line from Edmond North (high school) was here today to help celebrate the announcement,” she said.

‘Something should be done’

It all started last summer when Elora saw a dog left in a hot car in Oklahoma City.

“She thought something should be done about that, and then we started to look at the statistics of babies left in cars,” Walter said. Only a few minutes in a vehicle, with windows rolled up on a hot day, can be very harmful and sometimes fatal.

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