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Carole Mikita ReportingThree students from Wasatch Junior High School used teamwork and research to get into the semifinals of the Christopher Columbus Awards. It is a nationwide program challenging middle school students to find ways to help people in their communities.
Three seventh graders at Wasatch Junior High decided to create a magnetic calendar to make life easier for those who have Parkinson's Disease. Patients can place magnets where they belong on the calendar without having to write, which is often very difficult for people who suffer with neurological conditions.
The young women say they wanted to help individuals remain as independent as possible despite their challenges. Their inspiration is a neighbor of one of the girls.
Paige Heyn, Christopher Columbus Awards Semifinalist: "We wanted to make something that would help her so she wouldn't be in pain, having to do this. So we thought of a lot of ideas like a cork board and stuff and then we came up with a magnetic board."
Mikayla Haga, Christopher Columbus Awards Semifinalist: "We just thought of daily activities that most people do or that elderly people would like to do, like going to clubs or having lunch with a friend so, we just thought of pretty basics so that everyone could apply to that."
Lindsay Lamoreaux, Christopher Columbus Awards Semifinalist: "How people would like this board, too, just made me feel good. It made me feel good."
The 'Worry-Free Magnetic Calendar' was judged by a panel of scientists, community leaders and experts in science education, and is one the top 30 Christopher Columbus Award entries among 1000 in the U.S.
The seventh graders did not make it into the finals, but they are hoping someone will be interested in making and selling the calendars.