Genesis Franks was motivated by the suffering of other students to create a science project that would quickly warn school officials about bullying incidents.
The 10-year-old won the grand prize and first place in her category at the 24th annual Oklahoma Student Inventors Exposition at Rose State College, also known as the Invention Convention, for her “Qwik Response to Bullying and Stranger Danger.”
“The purpose of the invention is to notify teachers and principals of bullying and stranger danger,” Genesis said. “My inspiration is the Newtown shooting in Connecticut; I did not want that happening in Oklahoma City or anywhere else.”
Genesis, a fifth-grader at Nichols Hills Elementary, said one day at school, she noticed two classmates verbally abusing another.
“I went over there and said, ‘What are you doing? I saw what happened. Do I need to get a teacher involved? Leave this kid alone, go play, you're wasting your time.' A teacher found out, and that's when it all happened,” she said.
Qwik Response calls for certain students to wear a watchlike bracelet with a QR code reader they can scan with a smartphone to notify the principal if they witness a bullying incident.
Among 200 entries at the February competition, Genesis received $125 for winning first place, $125 for her school and an additional $600 check for the school from “What's Right With Our Schools,” a group that recognizes positive things going on in school districts.
Franks was recognized at the Governor's Mansion with the other top winners, said Leonard Franks, Genesis' father.
“We've got some people that have expressed interest, and we've reached out, and so we're hoping that we can get a little more exposure and see what comes around, take it to another level,” he said.
Leonard Franks said teachers, principals and school officers can't be everywhere, especially when there is a large student body.
“Now we can employ the kids to be more eyes on the building,” he said. “You have 400 kids, possibly 300, that can report incidents taking place, and then you get that quick notification.”