Local STEM Students Honored For Invention

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Several Valley students are being recognized by the U.S. Army for using their classroom skills to make a difference.

A full course load of physics, advanced English and applied engineering is not a typical freshman curriculum.

"It is a challenge and I really like challenges," said Athena Benton, who is one of four students in the Harrisonburg High School Governor's STEM Academy who is putting her skills to use by helping her fellow classmates at school.

The group is being recognized by the U.S. Army for creating a tool to help those with weak arms to play musical instruments.

"It will open up doors for people with disabilities and for people who can't play instruments," explained Athena.

Andy Jackson, the co-director of this STEM Academy program, said this shows the students, or anyone, can make a difference no matter the age, "Sometimes they may not realize the level to which they are working, but here are people saying not only did you work hard, but you really had a great idea and you really accomplished something great."

As the students prepare for the upcoming school year, they hope these skills will carry on into other avenues of their life.

As the STEM program grows, students like Athena look forward to counseling next years students.

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