For the second consecutive year, the engineering team at Westport’s Staples High School has made it into the final round of the National Engineering Design Challenge.
The team will travel to Washington Feb. 15-17 to present its final design. The Staples team placed second last year and first in 2001 in the competition, which is sponsored by the Junior Engineering and Technical Society (JETS).
The challenge for this year was to design a device to improve life for people with disabilities, and the team designed a retractable shelving system that would enable a person in a wheel chair to utilize the upper and lower shelves with ease.
Although targeting users in wheelchairs, the device would also be useful to those too short to reach upper shelves without a step-stool and also to those for whom bending or crouching to reach the lower shelves is not possible or uncomfortable.
The team members will fine tune their prototype and work on their presentation before traveling to Washington.
The team will bring the model to Washington and demonstrate it before the national judges. Both the design and the presentation will be judged.
The Engineering Team is a school club that meets in the evenings at either a student’s home or the home of Josh Schwartz, a Westport resident who has served as the team’s engineering advisor for seven years.
This year’s Team members include: Dan Amitay, Sam Andrew, Danielle Brown, Victoria Cheng, Nate Fox, Jason Gandelman, Gennadiy Gurevich, Scott Infusino, Geoff Jordan, James Kim, Eleni Kursten, Antonella Lisanti, Maurizio Martinovic, Naveen Murali, Dan Sellon, Phillip Seo, Andrew Shenoy, Allison Shenoy and Jordan Zarilli.