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InvenTeam wins $10,000 grant

Updated: Feb 2

By Staff Reports

A device to help students with ADHD got a major boost thanks to a $10,000 grant secured by SOAR High School’s InvenTeam.

Each year, AFRL Rocket Lab Enspire program seeks to inspire innovation and creativity among students interested in the STEM field. The program actively searches for outstanding and groundbreaking projects that contribute to the evolution of the next era of STEM in educational institutions.

This year, the program awarded one of six grants to SOAR’s InvenTeam for its Alaris device, a mechanism that helps people dealing with ADHD and anxiety to practice and monitor breath control to alleviate their symptoms. The device already has a patent and could soon hit the market within the next five years.

The other five schools to receive grants were Fluton & Alsbury, Palmdale Aerospace Academy, Desert Rose School, Cabillo Engineering & Design Pathway, and Desert Jr/Sr High School.

Hazel Oliva, Vanessa Ibarra, and Angel Avalos, three of the members of the team to work on the grant application, said the money will be used to buy a new 3D printer, soldering kits, and technology.

“Our device is centered around students but the hope is to expand our outreach to others,” Vanessa said.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, there are about 6 million children aged 3-17 diagnosed with ADHD or anxiety. A 2021 California survey by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California found that 62 percent of students said they had an emotional meltdown in the past year, while 43 percent reported a panic anxiety attack. And the research said those numbers are increasing each year.

The idea for the device came about after the team’s advisor, Dr. Thibault spoke to members about research she had studied regarding ADHD, as well as several members on the team with personal experience.

Aside from using the grant money to purchase some needed equipment, members said they can now dedicate more time to creating a website, buying a domain name, kick starting a gofundme, and exploring more outreach opportunities like public information sessions.

Members also plan to share their device at the L.A. County Science & Engineering Fair at the Shrine Auditorium in March.

“We want to help advance our device and make it more compact by providing more resources and making it more user friendly, more personalized,” said Hazel.

Those who worked on the grant application included Hazel Oliva, Vanessa Ibarra, Angel Avalos, Isabel Amaya, Maria Gilani, and Mario Guzman.

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