Local students take honors in competition at Walt Disney World

Four Carmel Valley Middle and Santa Fe Christian School students in San Diego, California, took the top prize in the Christopher Columbus Awards and National Science/Community Service Competition held at Walt Disney World.

The national program encourages youths to challenge each other to discover opportunities to benefit their communities. Seventh-graders Sean Colford, Ethan Epstein, Brandon Loye, Michael Walsh, and coach Rhonda Epstein made it to the finals last month, and then home the $25,000 Stephen J. Moses Community Grant.

The students were aware of the increasing problem of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). RSIs are a group of conditions caused by displacing stress on a repetitive motion in a joint or muscle. In particular, the students wanted to know the results when student and workers maintain poor posture at their computer workspaces.

They researched the topic online as well as meeting with the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Qualcomm to determine what ergonomic solutions are best to address the growing problem of computer-related RSIs. The group created the Ergonomic Posture Alignment Device, otherwise known as the Ergo-PAD.