In 2019, seven dedicated Pahokee Middle School Robotics students created a never-seen-before solution for kidney stones in space when preparing for their upcoming robotics competition as part of a program funded by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Ventus Charitable Foundations, and Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation as part of the State of Florida’s School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. This affliction is reported to affect roughly 7% of our astronauts. After confirming the veracity of their theoretical medical solution with the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (Seattle) – a laboratory that had already been in partnership with NASA regarding this issue – they developed a “One of a kind” viable solution. The students went on to compete with this research and work in the National First Robotic League Competition.
Five years after the success of the research, the University of Washington invited these seven students to spend a week interning with its professors and department heads to further develop medical technology. The internship program funded by Verizon, Boca West Children’s Foundation, Healthier Glades, along with several businesses and individuals, including professors from the University of Washington, aims to help the students comprehend and apply the research process to commercialization.