Two Abington Heights students place in SCHOTT Innovation Challenge

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DURYEA – Two Abington Heights High School students placed in SCHOTT’s first-ever Innovation Challenge, an initiative designed to foster ideation and creativity among high school students.

The contest was open to students in ninth through 12th grades enrolled in public high schools near one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, including the Pittston Area School District, Lebanon County Career and Technology Center, The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, Worcester Technical High School, and Vincennes Lincoln High School.

Participants were tasked with submitting an original business idea that utilizes glass to improve everyday lives. Three finalists were selected from eight nominations and were tasked with pitching their ideas to a panel of judges comprised of SCHOTT employees. The criteria for these ideas focused on innovation, practical application and the potential to address specific challenges or to improve daily life.

• Shay Daniels from Abington Heights High School & CTC of Lackawanna County won first place. Shay proposed “Gamma-Ray Fiber Optics,” a revolutionary idea aiming to use glass for precise medical treatments by focusing gamma rays to target and destroy diseased cells without harming surrounding healthy tissues.

• J’cier Santana from Worcester Technical High School won second place with the “Automatic Window Tinter,” a practical solution for automatically adjusting the tint of vehicle windows based on external light levels, enhancing driver comfort and safety.

• Thomas Burke from Abington Heights High School won third place. Thomas introduced “the Ani-View,” a window equipped with an LED system that can switch between a view of the outside world and electronic images, offering therapeutic benefits for individuals suffering from seasonal depression by altering their environmental visuals.

The Duryea site hosted two of the three winners on March 12, and the students were given a tour of the plant highlighting the practical applications of glass across various industries. Following the tour, the students were presented with certificates and prizes in recognition of their innovative contributions.

Deane Baker, automated manufacturing technology instructor at the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, expressed admiration for the challenge’s impact on students.

“Your visit and presentation in the fall engaged our students, and got them thinking in ways I hadn’t seen before,” Baker said. “The Innovation Challenge really got them excited, and the results are apparent.”

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