Selected from thousands of entries nationwide, Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks has been named the Nevada state winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest for its proposed plan to address IV contamination and medical waste.

Alex Marsh is a junior at Reed High School and a winner of a National Competition. "It is such a simple design that it was heartwarming to know that someone else thought this idea could help this community," explains Marsh. 

It all started after a visit to the hospital. "They were detaching my IV tube and it fell to the floor which was unnoticed until the radiologist tried to put it back in my arm," she explains. Her mother stopped the radiologist from reconnecting the tubes and had them disposed, due to contamination. "If unnoticed it could give me Sepsis which is bacteria going into the blood stream which is very fatal." 

This experience got her thinking; how much plastic is going to waste when doctors have to throw away those tubes because of situations like this? And what about our military overseas who are experiencing the same situations, but in areas that are not as clean as our hospitals? So she designed a 3D printed attachment to cover and lock the valve of an IV tube.

Because of her design the school won $20,000 worth of technology. "We will set up opportunities for more students to come up with ideas and create prototypes, generate models with the thoughts they have had and give them the equipment to explore those ideas," says Leigh Metcalfe, Alex's teacher.

And all it takes is a few minutes to create such a small, but mighty tool. "Her project shows how a simple idea can get recognized by other people and get other students excited about the possibility of their ideas becoming much bigger than a thought or an idea," says Metcalfe.

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest aims to raise interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math subjects by encouraging teachers and students to solve issues in their community by using STEM skills.