Four GGUSD Student Teams Excel at Countywide Innovation Contest

5 female students displaying their creation of a shoe compartment.

Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) led the way in innovation at the 2018 ocMaker Challenge with more teams that placed in the  STEAM-based competition than any district in Orange County.  The competition held last month challenges students to design and build or repurpose a product that will solve a problem, want, or need. Student teams from McGarvin Intermediate as well as La Quinta and Pacifica high schools saw their products place in four different divisions.

“GGUSD students should be proud of their excellence in innovation, a skill that will catapult them to careers that have not even been invented yet,” said Bob Harden, Board of Education president.  “GGUSD’s success in this competition is a reflection of our emphasis on STEAM instruction and a testament to the hard work and talent of our students and teachers.”

The team of La Quinta’s Brandee Nguyen, Anh Nguyen, and Paul Phaminhung took second place for level 1 with their invention called the “Easy Lid.” The “Easy Lid” attaches to the side of cooking pans, allowing for the lid to have a place to rest while including a reservoir for water vapor to collect while also keeping things cleaner and saving space. The team of Emily Vu and Brian Duong, also from La Quinta High School, placed second for level 2 with their creation, “Omni Plug,” a device that allows for safe space saving functionality when plugging items into wall sockets.

The team of An Nguyen, Annie Huynh, Kayla Nguyen, Kellyann Bui, and Jane Le ​from McGarvin Intermediate took home third place in level 1 with their invention “Shoe Locker,” a small plastic tray that fits into a recessed compartment on the sole of a shoe that allows for safekeeping of small objects. Matt Moslenko and John Larson of Pacifica High School came in second place in level 4 with their product called “King Crush” which is an automatic aluminum can crusher.

The four teams of students, along with teachers Nick Ruzzi of La Quinta, Ed Harris of Pacifica, Susan Duquesnel of McGarvin, were recognized during an awards ceremony at Chapman University on May 11 and awarded a total of $750 from the event’s business supporters and sponsors.

The ocMaker Challenge is organized by the Orange County Department of Education/CTE Partnership, promoted by CTEoc, and sponsored by Deputy Sector Navigators for Small Business and ICT/Digital Media of Orange County.