- March 15, 2019
Kelly Karns said her daughter, Olivia, comes up with new ideas every day to try to make the world a better place.
So, it was no surprise to her that Olivia, a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School, was selected as one of 10 finalists in an innovation challenge sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).
The international competition, known as the World Series of Innovation, was an extra assignment by FPC entrepreneurship instructor Corinne Shaefer for those who were ahead of their classwork.
There were seven challenges participants could choose from, each focusing on a different challenge facing humanity, from eradicating hunger and poverty to achieving peace, justice and equality.
Olivia Karns chose the Maxar-sponsored Community Resilience from Space Challenge.
Competitors are to “use geospatial data to make communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”
Karns’ idea is to convert surplus shipping containers into portable hospitals and delivered to isolated locations that are too far from a hospital to travel during an emergency.
These hospitals could be shipped to areas where a disaster, such as an earthquake or tornado, has occurred. Using satellite data to predict where severe weather will hit, the hospitals can be transported ahead of time, she said.
“My mom told me a while ago about surplus shipping containers, and I thought why not make them into hospitals.”
“My mom told me a while ago about surplus shipping containers, and I thought why not make them into hospitals,” Karns said.
“My inspiration came from my uncle who lives in a rural area in Virginia. When I was there, I saw it took 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive from the nearest hospital. Shipping container hospitals would be easy to move around. I do thank my mom. She got the ball rolling on this long before I had this class.”
Karns said the containers are 40 feet high, eight feet wide and 8.6 feet high with enough room for three beds, equipment and material, and they would be staffed by at least five nurses or doctors.
“There’s plenty of room for doors, privacy and storage,” she said.
The 10 finalists are required to submit a one-minute video presentation by Feb. 25. Karns, who said she has been working on the project for two to three months, had a meeting scheduled for Feb. 23 at AdventHealth Palm Coast to learn more about the necessary equipment and its cost.
“She’s really excited about how this project can potentially help people,” Kelly Karns said. “She has always been gifted. She likes to know how things work, and she always wants to help the lesser served. We do a lot of fostering with dogs.”
“She’s such a humble ninth grader. But she’s so talented.”
CORINNE SCHAEFER, FPC entrepreneurship instructor
“She’s such a humble ninth grader,” said Schaefer. “But she’s so talented.”
The first-place prize for each of the challenges is $1,500 with $600 for second place and $300 for third place.
But Olivia Karns said she is more concerned with how her idea can be beneficial in practice.
“If it got to the point where I can actually make all this happen,” she said, “that would be really good for everyone who doesn’t have access.”