N. Chicago students win first place in STEM challenge

North Chicago Community High School students have been working closely with AbbVie Foundation to create STEM-based - science, technology, engineering and math - projects that could benefit people with cancer. The program is part of Illinois Science & Technology Institute's STEM Challenge.

First place went to Donard Brown, Kaisha Johnson, Cesiah Flores, Monserrat Gonzalez and Joel Ocampo, who came up with an app called Elpida Life to connect with cancer patients in the community.

"I feel really accomplished," said team leader Cesiah Flores. "I feel like we really put in a lot of work, and we showed every effort that we put into this project. I am really proud of myself and my teammates."

Ten of the original 25 teams presented their projects Thursday in hopes of representing their school at ISTI'S statewide Student Showcase in Chicago on April 27. One team was selected.

The students have been working with AbbVie mentors for four months looking for ways to provide support to cancer patients in low-income communities.

In addition to mobile apps, other ideas included an online education website for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade and looking for ways to use therapy dogs to provide companionship and comfort for cancer patients.

  Students from North Chicago Community High School presented their STEM Challenge projects in front of judges Thursday at the school. The students have worked with mentors at AbbVie as part of the Illinois Science & Technology Institute's STEM Challenge, to find creative ways to provide support for cancer patients in low income communities. Gilbert R. Boucher II/
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