Local students named innovation contest finalists, need your vote to win

The Back Straight Boys

Officials with the Conrad Foundation selected students from Canyon Crest Academy to compete in the final round of the 2012-2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge. The team, the  “Back Straight Boys,” is one of 20 high school teams from around the world invited to present their innovative product at the 2013 Innovation Summit April 10-13 in Houston, Texas for the chance to win one of four $10,000 prizes.

The annual competition, presented by Lockheed Martin Corporation and Battelle, challenges teams of students ages 13-18 from around the world to combine innovation and entrepreneurship along with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to create commercially-viable products to benefit humanity. The 2013 teams developed new technologies to solve challenges in the areas of aerospace and aviation, cybertechnology and security, energy and environment, and health and nutrition.

Members of the team include: Sean Colford, Ethan Eptein, Brandon Loye and Michael C. Walsh. Their team, the “Back Straight Boys,” developed an ergonomically-designed seatpad that is electronically programed to give the user feedback as whether or not they are sitting at the computer with good posture habits.  The device assists the user to improve their posture habit which in turn lowers their risk factor for developing muscle pain and repetitive stress injuries.

The “Back Straight Boys” received national acclaim for their invention in the past.  They are now working on the development of their business and marketing plan and streamlining their prototype for this latest competition.  In addition the team’s studies have been published in the international journal, “Work: a Journal of  Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation.”  The team has also applied for a patent, which is still pending.

Before the 2013 Innovation Summit, the “Back Straight Boys” have one more hurdle to jump — the People’s Choice video contest. From March 18 – 29, the public is invited to review the profiles of the 20 finalist teams, view their product videos and cast a vote for their favorite video.

San Diego-area residents are encouraged to vote for their hometown team by visiting http://www.conradawards.org/groups.

One vote is allowed per person in each challenge category. Public votes provide valuable points in each team’s overall score.

“To say these young people are creating unique and impressive products only gives a piece of the education puzzle,” said Jennifer Fotherby, executive director of the Spirit of Innovation Challenge. “The practical knowledge, leadership and teamwork skills they are developing will serve them well as they become the innovative workforce of the 21st century.”

For more information, visit www.conradawards.org.

Related posts:

  1. Local resident a finalist in dog park contest — help her win, vote now
  2. Region named a state Innovation Hub
  3. Ocean Air students to attend prestigious 2012 Future Problem Solving Program International Conference
  4. Local athletic teams honored
  5. Local students named to Dean’s List

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=46534

Posted by Staff on Mar 7, 2013. Filed under Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • FRONTLINE CANCER: Exercise, exercise, exercise!
    Regular exercise improves health in ways most of us already know. It helps control weight, maintain strong bones, muscles and joints, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Exercise quite literally makes us feel better, physically and mentally. […]
  • Hunger Games in the Real World
    At age 6, Nya, a girl living in San Diego, was suffering from malnourishment because her father, a single parent was struggling to raise (and feed) his children on an $11-an-hour job. For long periods of time their cupboards were bare, and Nya, who is now 18, subsisted on a diet of ramen noodles and free lunches provided by her charter school. She was in cri […]
  • Fall brings the call to learn something new
    Local gems like UCSD Extension, Osher Lifelong Learning, La Jolla Community Center and La Jolla Library all offer a variety of opportunities for personal growth — and all welcome newcomers. […]




  • Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plants and Better Alternatives
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs In California we are lucky to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow amazing landscapes. Because of this mild climate, plants from other parts of the world often thrive; and some grow so well they become known as invasive. These plants ‘jump fences’ and ‘throw seeds.’ Their […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District’s robotics program receives new funding
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District is making its school’s robotics program more robust this year, allocating $42,500 in stipends to staff coaches just like the district does for its athletics program. “I think the program has taken a big step,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney. “I think we’re on our way toward developing a great program there.” John Galipa […]
  • Back to School for R. Roger Rowe students
    Students at R. Roger Rowe School bid a fond farewell to summer and headed back to school Aug. 25. Photos by Jon Clark. […]