SourceAmerica announces the finalists of the 2018 Design Challenge, a competition to design new ways to improve the workplace for people with disabilities.

The finalists include three college and five high school teams from across the country, who will compete at the final competition in Washington, DC April 9 to 11.

In addition to submitting their designs to a panel of judges who will determine the ultimate winner, team members will meet with congressional representatives, learn more about disabilities in the workplace, and connect with other STEM-minded students from across the country.

The SourceAmerica Design Challenge is a national competition held among teams at the high school and college levels. Student teams partner with nonprofit organizations or businesses that employ people with disabilities to design devices and systems to improve safety and accessibility in the workplace. They work closely with employees with disabilities to determine the scope and effectiveness of their project. This year, more than 120 teams entered the competition, explains a media release from SourceAmerica.

The following are the finalists:

California State University, Los Angeles
Partner Organization: FVO Solutions Inc
Project: Interactive Virtual Assembly
The California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) team created an interactive, virtual reality job training program for employees with disabilities to support assembly processes.

Lawrence Technological University
Partner Organization: Services to Enhance Potential (STEP)
Project: Clip Assembly Device
The Clip Assembly Device is a handheld device to help assemble a small metal pin into a plastic clip. It looks like a retractable ball point pen with a platform that contours the shape of the clip. A magnetic groove for the metal pin can be easily grasped to release the parts with the click of pen.

Lawrence Technological University
Partner Organization: Services to Enhance Potential (STEP)
Project: Cube XL Assembly
The Cube XL Assembly nearly doubles the strut assembly output of employees in addition to increasing user enjoyment and focus. Employees with the use of only one hand can now assemble struts.

Copley High School
Partner Organization: Weaver Industries
Project: Paper Stack Cutter (PSC)
The Paper Stack Cutter (PSC) opens packages of pamphlets for shredding to ensure all employees at Weaver Industries SecurShred can prepare the materials for shredding.

Poolesville High School
Partner Organization: NIH Project SEARCH
Project: Folder Filler
The team created a device that inserts confidential documents into a manila envelope. The device enabled an automation clerk to become independent in his job.

Partner Organization: Edwards Enterprises
Project: Packy—The Affordable Stretch Wrapping Machine
The Packy is a cost-effective and easily adjustable stretch wrapping device that enables employees to bundle a variety of boxes without the assistance of another staff member.

The Catlin Gabel School
Partner Organization: On The Move
Project: JonApp
The JonApp supports people with cognitive and developmental disabilities by providing a structure to organize and complete tasks in the workplace. The app includes images, dictation and a very user-friendly interface.

Triad High School
Partner Organization: Challenge Unlimited
Project: Preparing Patches
Preparing Patches makes it easier to tear “Tear-Aid Patches” into groups of three. The patches then go into a repair kit for a wheelchair. The product reduces the time and increases efficiency for employees.

[Source(s): SourceAmerica, PRWeb]