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Record Number: 17154
Displayed from: May 30, 2018 , until: Jul 30, 2018

Members of the Key Club at New Tech Academy at Wayne will share with members of UNICEF and Kiwanis their ideas for making the vaccine for Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus available to more women in third-world countries. Students have been working with New Tech Teacher Eric Toy, Kiwanis Director of Information Technology Tom Castonzo and others on the project, which they will present at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 1, at Wayne High School, 9100 Winchester Road.

Since 2010, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have partnered to eliminate the Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) in 16 countries. The disease occurs when the tetanus bacteria enters the body through an open wound or puncture. The bacteria spores can live anywhere, particularly in the soil and animal feces creates a toxin in humans that attacks the central nervous system. MNT is most common to occur in third world and developing countries where healthcare is limited. A newborn can be infected with tetanus because of unhygienic birthing practices. If the mother and/or newborn contracts the bacteria during childbirth, MNT can kill the newborn and mother within days.

The disease can be prevented through vaccination, but because many mothers live in remote areas, vaccine coolers are used for transport. It is important for the organizations to receive real-time vaccine cooler data to support the vaccine teams in the field and make informed strategic decisions regarding pacing and route adjustments.

The New Tech students helped develop a vaccine-specific temperature sensor connected to a small, lightweight, cellular network-enabled and battery-powered micro controller. The sensor is placed inside the cooler within a sealed vial containing a buffering solution to allow for accurate temperature readings. The data is relayed to the cloud for collection and analysis by those monitoring the system. Warnings can be issued as needed.

“I am extremely proud of the work the students have done to solve a real-world problem,” said New Tech Director Emily Oberlin. “This work will save the lives of mothers and babies across the globe.”

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.