What’s Right: Wilkerson Middle students take on bullying

What's Right With Our Schools: Altec Innovation Challenge

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Students at Wilkerson Middle are taking on bullying. Afterall, Jarez Cook - a seventh grader at Wilkerson - says students around the country face bullying every day. He’s the one who did the research.

“What the research says is bullying is a huge problem across the country. 3.2 million students get bullied each year and people kill themselves or hurt themselves or don’t even want to go to school because of bullying,” said Jarez.

So when ALTEC gave the Birmingham School district an innovation challenge to solve a problem in their community using science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM), the Wilkerson team knew exactly what problem to solve.

“ALTEC, the company created this competition specifically for Birmingham Students. Create a team of up to ten students to solve a problem facing the school and community using STEM,” said Elizabeth Bieri, their teacher.

The students came up with an idea to create an anti-bullying app so impressive, the seventh graders beat high schoolers at the competition.

“We felt amazing because Ramsay and Huffman did a real good job, but we can’t believe that we beat high schoolers,” said Jarez.

Bieri says she knew her students could win, but she’s most proud of the skills they learned for real world problem solving. It’s a lesson she says can easily work in any classroom.

ALTEC presented the team a check for $10,000. The money will be used to create the app with some help from University of Alabama students.

They plan to launch the new app at Wilkerson next spring.

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