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Davis Magnet School Wins First Place in the Inaugural ocMaker Challenge Jr.
Posted 5/22/19

The ocMaker Challenge Jr., an elementary version of the Orange County Department of Education’s ocMaker Challenge, which is an integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) design project that combines elements of art and design.

Davis Magnet School fifth grade teacher Katie Danahy rose to the challenge of spearheading the school’s participation in the first ocMaker Challenge Jr.

Students worked in self-selected teams of two to five students and were challenged to identify a unique problem, need or want, explore solutions, and present a prototype. Students participated in weekly STEM challenges to solve the issue. Their projects were judged on criteria that included originality and functionality.

Students created prototypes and videos to explain the problem they identified and how their product solves the unique problem. The projects could be motionless (non-functioning) or dynamic (some functionality).

The two student projects that were selected to represent Davis Magnet School at the ocMaker Challenge Jr. competition were:

Fish Bot Project

  • Fish Bot
    (Alethea Harper, Edith Lutz, Michael Lyons, and Felix Tiquia) 
    • Problem: Trash in the ocean. 
    • Solution: Fish Bot solves this problem by picking up trash in the ocean. They used a 3D printer to design their "fish" to resemble a pool toy so it could be fun to clean bodies of water.

Project Prosthetic Display

Project Prosthetic

  • Project Prosthetic
    (Andres Ayala, Samuel Edmisten, and Gavin Mac Beth)
    • Problem: A person inability to use their hands.  
    • Solution: The solution they designed was called Project Prosthetic, which is a motor-powered hand that can be used for everyday tasks. If someone does not have a hand or cannot use their hands, they are able to pick up items using the prosthetic hand. The hand includes a motor that is meant to resemble hand functions.

Project Prosthetic won first place in the fifth-grade level dynamic prototype category and was showcased at the ocMaker Challenge on May 11.

“This is a great program that promotes a culture of inquiry, creativity, and problem-solving using real-world experience,” said Christy Flores, Davis Magnet School principal.