The annual AbilityOne Design Challenge competition encourages students to develop technologies that empower people with disabilities to break through barriers to employment. Students or teams research, design and develop systems or devices to assist people with disabilities so they can become more productive in the workplace or assume a new job. Students must build a functioning prototype of their assistive technology device in order to be considered for contention.
Over the past few years, teams from Poolesville High School have established a winning tradition in the competition, placing 2nd and 3rd last year and claiming first place honors in 2012.
The streak was kept alive this year as two of the schools’ three teams received 2nd place honors for the “Best Engineering Design” (The Nexus) and “Best Use of Assistive Technology” (Die Cast Guide). And, Poolesville’s third team in the finals earned runner-up recognition (Multipurpose Sealing Device).
Five teams – three from Poolesville -- were selected as finalists from among 88 teams from across the country that competed for 2014 honors.
The competition is sponsored by SourceAmerica, a national nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for nearly 125,000 people with significant disabilities.