Sample Entries: Sample 5


Photo of Kids on Roller CoasterSample 5

Heal Their Pain

Coaches: Jim Frank and Laura Lewin
Community: Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Status Achieved: First-Place Winner

Section 1: The Issue

According to the American Arthritis Association, approximately 1 in 6 Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. While the team members felt that developing a "miracle cure" for this widespread condition was an unrealistic goal, they believed that making the daily lives of arthritis-sufferers a bit easier was within reach.

Section 2: Research

The team interviewed a rheumatologist, who described the various problems faced by the elderly, and visited local nursing homes to find out firsthand about the specific needs of those suffering from arthritis. Many residents reported having trouble opening medicine bottles. The team decided to develop a product that could assist people with this task. They used additional information, gleaned from pamphlets, brochures and other resources, to help guide them through the development phase. The end result was a wooden prototype of a bottle-opening tool, which the team called the "Eazy Zap Cap."

Section 3: Testing

The team set up a "testing lab" outside a busy drugstore on a cold day. Customers were encouraged to open a medicine bottle first unassisted, and then with the "Eazy Zap Cap." Thirty-four people signed an affidavit attesting to the usefulness of the product; many also offered valuable suggestions on how to improve the "Eazy Zap Cap" for mass production.

Section 4: The Solution

The "Eazy Zap Cap" can relieve some of the pain experienced daily by arthritis-sufferers because it greatly reduces the amount of pressure required to remove the cap from a medicine bottle. The team's plan was to patent, manufacture and market the product to pharmacies, hospitals and other medical organizations.

Visual Presentation:

VHS videotape.