BEEBE, Ark. -- According to studies, in the U.S. an average of 37 babies a year die from being left in hot cars. Two junior high students from Arkansas have invented a device that could save babies lives on hot summer days. The Beebe students have even landed a spot as finalists in the National Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.
"It’s surprising that something this simple hadn't been patented and made yet," said Tate Rector, Engineering and Robotics teacher at Beebe Junior High.
Their simple idea would set off a car alarm when a child has been left in a hot car.
"If we can build this prototype to prevent babies from dying in hot cars, that’s a really big step," said 8th grader, Mason Covington.
Covington and fellow 8th grader, Tyler Duke, came up with the idea with Rector.
"It was just a problem in our community because two years ago, a baby died in Arkansas and that really hit home for us," said Duke
That's why they were encouraged to come up with a device you could attach to any car seat. It detects heat in a car while a child is inside. If the car gets to warm, the device will set off the car alarm.
“It’s been on our mind, just one of those things," said Rector. "In 2017 we should have the technology to know if a kid left in a car," said Rector.
The device connects to an extra car fab, so just like you would press your alarm, an electrical surge is sent to the panic button as soon as it gets too hot.
“When it hits over 80 degrees inside the car it sets off the car alarm," said Duke.
By being named national finalists, they earned a trip to New York, $50,000 in Samsung technology, but more importantly the recognition of inventing a tool that could save lives.
“It’s really cool knowing we're in the top 10 and going to New York,” said Covington.
Currently, they have a patent in the works and hope a major car company will invest in the technology.
“I’d just like to see GM or Ford or somebody to say, ‘Let’s put a little bit of money into this.' It cost us $50 to make this," said Rector
The competition in New York was originally scheduled for March 14, but has been postponed until after Spring Break because of the current winter storm.
To help the Beebe Jr. High team win the community choice award, click here: