COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio students are helping end heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in the U.S.
Kids from all around the state participated in the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s “Ohio Heart Health Design Challenge”. 100 students came to the event at Battelle, representing 2,800 students who participated in the challenge.
Students in 1st grade, all the way up to high school age participated. 19 schools from across the state presented their ideas and solutions to Battelle scientists, the American Heart Association, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Secretary of State on Tuesday.
“We want to help people stay healthy,” said 1st grader Lily England.
England, 7, and her classmates at Unioto Elementary School in Chillicothe created a meal calendar.
“One of them is, put almonds in your lunch,” she said. “Eat healthy fruits.”
These student are becoming the future problem-solvers of the world.
“Engineering, mathematics and science, healthcare… we have to foster that at an early age,” said neurologist Dr. B.J. Hicks.
Dr. Hicks is the local board president of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. He said heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Stroke comes in as the fifth leading cause of death, but is the number one cause of disability.
“This has tremendous impact on their friends, their loved ones, their relatives and this will continue unless we be proactive in trying to make sure that we put an end to it,” said Dr. Hicks.
Students at the Metro Institute of Technology are up for the challenge.
“It’s just becoming a problem no matter the age,” said sophomore Sarah White.
White, 15, said her team created a subscription box hoping to target millenials and encourage them to be heart healthy.
“Dried fruits, fiber supplement, all foods that are scientifically proven to help lower your cholesterol,” she said.
White said they hope to start taking orders for their boxes soon.
She’s also looking forward to the future, aiming for a career in a STEM field.
“You need to be able to know that you can make a change in the world,” said White. “You can affect what’s going on around you.”