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Local Scientist Donates 550 Thermometer Watches to STEM School

Empire Elementary School fourth graders from Ms. Erica Meisler’s class their COVID watches. Left to Right: Denim Lehrbaum, Madison Fishburn and Emily Bell.

The Carson City School District is pleased to announce Empire Elementary School, a designated Governor’s STEM School, has received 550 Thermometer Watches from local Scientist Ron Newton. The wearable technology, costing less than $10, is designed to monitor the temperature of the wearer and indicate if they are running a fever. The school is beta testing the prototype, which constantly monitors temperature and displays every 8 seconds using a color changing light emitting diode without using a switch.

“This wearable piece of technology was developed by Mr. Newton as a way to help monitor some of our student population’s health, which is specifically appropriate during this global pandemic,” Richard Stokes, Carson City School District superintendent, said.

The school plans to utilize this generous technology gift by inviting students to wear the watches while they attend school. Here is a brief video detailing how the watch was created and disseminated to students. To be compliant with patient and student privacy laws, each student who wears the thermometer watch will also have a signed permission slip from their parents or guardians.

“As businesses and organizations purchased countless numbers of Hands-free IR (Infrared) Thermometers, amidst the pandemic, we feel fortunate to have a similar, more frequent tool to help assess the wellness of our student population,” said Susan Squires, principal of Empire Elementary School.

Last year, the Advisory Council on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM Council) and the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) named Empire Elementary School as a Designated Governor STEM School. Designation as a Governor’s STEM School denotes that the school meets the highest standards of STEM instruction and is a model for schools around the state. For parents and the community, the designation also communicates the level of high-quality STEM education that can be expected at the school.

All K-12 schools in Nevada are eligible to apply for the designation. Empire Elementary submitted an application that described their curriculum practices, learning environment, STEM instruction and integration, leadership and stakeholder engagement. Following a review of the applications, Empire Elementary hosted a site visit by members of the STEM Council, OSIT, and other stakeholders to showcase their STEM practices. Empire Elementary also received a 10-foot banner and a digital seal that can be used on a website and other electronic communications.

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