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Olathe student works to modify hospital laser machine

Olathe South senior Lindsey Eddings plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas.
Olathe South senior Lindsey Eddings plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas.
During her Computer-Aided Design class at Olathe South High School, senior Lindsey Eddings is trying to enhance a type of laser machine used for heart attack patients at Olathe Medical Center.

The C02 laser punctures holes in the wall of a heart that needs extra blood flow to ensure the tissue doesn’t die. Blood rushes to the punctures and starts the healing process.

Eddings has created a device that she hopes will cut the amount of repair time that's necessary after the C02 tube that contains the laser burns out.

“The arm of the machine has 12 mirrors to reflect the laser beam,” Eddings said. “The first mirror is right above the C02 tube, and you must remove that mirror to replace the tube.”

Using a 3-D printer, Eddings has fashioned a device that attaches to the laser and allows for the mirror to be temporarily displaced when C02 tubes are exchanged.

After several trips to Olathe Medical Center, she is close to her goal of ensuring exact placement of the mirror without having to recalibrate the entire machine — something that now takes hours.

Eddings took on the task after reaching out to Olathe Health, hoping to gain knowledge and experience in the biomedical field.

"We received an answer that we had to read a few times to understand,” said Olathe South CAD teacher Jason Smith. “Once we figured out what they were asking for, she hit the ground running.”

Eddings, who is in her fourth year in the CAD program, has explored many career interests.

“My dad used to build houses, so I initially was interested in architecture,” Eddings said. “I then wanted to become an anesthesiologist. but ultimately became inspired to do something in the engineering industry. After doing some research, I found that biomedicine combined both interests.”

After high school, she will study biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas.

“Lindsey is a great example of a student who is charting her own course, and is picking up the experiences along the way that will lead to success,” Smith said.

Croquet, anyone?

Teams are forming for the ninth annual Mahaffie Sunflower Wickets croquet tournament hosted by the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Foundation.

The event starts at 1 p.m. June 1 at the Olathe Community Center. Prizes will be awarded to the top four finishing teams.

Visit Mahaffie.org, call 913-971-5111 or email mahaffie@olatheks.org for more information about sponsorship or forming a team. The Midwest Croquet Association is assisting with the tournament.

National prize for DECA student

Olathe North High School junior Reem Atallah earned first-place honors at the recent Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference in Atlanta.

She won in the Human Resources Management Series.

“Reem has been a remarkable competitor and leader in the Olathe North Chapter of DECA," the school's DECA co-advisers, Andy Pollom and Stacie Palmisano, said in a news release. "She is a critical part of a strong Olathe North DECA executive team and she established our first formal competitive event preparation program for its members.”

The advisers described her as “very poised, hard working, professional and an incredible communicator."

Pros start the stories, but students finish them

Young writers at an Olathe middle school are getting the chance to finish stories begun by published authors of books for young adults.

After hearing about the opportunity from a former college professor, Santa Fe Trail Middle School resource teacher Mary Scholl brought the Young Author Top Secret Traveling StoryBox to local classrooms. Upon receiving story foundations from the professional writers, students can add plot twists and other embellishments to make them unique.

“Sixth- and eighth-grade language arts teachers are working with their students to review and choose which story to begin to co-author,” Scholl said in a news release.

“It can be difficult to get students interested in writing, but this project has been a chance to engage our middle schoolers to think beyond their narrative and connect to a new one started on paper.”

It can be a challenge, she said, for students to maintain the author’s original voice while advance the tale.

“This project gives students a chance to push themselves when producing a piece of writing,” Scholl said. “Knowing there is a chance to become published and have your version of the story shared around the country has been motivation to think critically of their work.”

When students have finished their stories, Story Ambassadors read the finished versions and consider which stories to publish.

The next to receive started the traveling stories are junior high students in Alberta, Canada.

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