Brayden Rathell, on the right, and Hunter Smith, on the left, with their one-handed controller. Photograph taken by JC Lewis.
Brayden Rathell, on the right, and Hunter Smith, on the left, with their one-handed controller. Photograph taken by JC Lewis.

Freshmen Place at Governor’s STEM Competition

Two freshmen, Brayden Rathell and Hunter Smith, made a creation that got them to be state finalists at the Governor’s STEM competition. 

Rathell and Smith both took the whole school year to create and get the idea of the one-handed controller that they made in the engineering class that took them to the state finals.  

Brayden Rathell, on the right, and Hunter Smith, on the left, pose with their one-handed controller. Photograph taken by JC Lewis

Rathell and Smith had to draw out their idea first and then create a 3D prototype. 

JC Lewis, the engineering teacher, added that schools are only allowed to have two teams enter the competition for school. The engineering class had an in-house competition through the engineering class to see what projects would advance to the state level. 

Freshmen Brayden Rathell and Hunter Smith share their one-handed controller with the PA Secretary of Education, Dr. Mumin. Photograph by JC Lewis

 Lewis mentioned that creating this was a very involved process.

“Starting with their initial drawings and ideas and then developing a 3D model prototype and then taking that prototype, the students met with engineers from Multi-Dimensional Integration in Shrewsbury,” Lewis said.

Multi-dimensional integration helped Rathell and Smith wrap up some last-minute ideas and create their one-handed controller into a real controller that can be used with Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, Switch, and PC. 

To create the one-handed controller, there were obstacles Rathell and Smith had to overcome to make sure the one-handed controller worked correctly.

“The first two variations that they made the buttons wouldn’t have fit into the design, so we had to reprint it two times and on the third time it worked,” Smith said. 

Freshmen Brayden Rathell and Hunter Smith show the judges and advisers how the one-handed controller works. Photograph by JC Lewis

Lewis thought that the one-hand controller was a hit.

“It was just so interactive, and it was something everybody could use even if you played video games in a traditional way with a controller, and you can still jump in on their one-handed controller and have a great time,” Lewis said.

Smith thought that the one-handed controller was a hit even though it didn’t place.

“It is very easy to use and very simple,” Smith said.

At the Arts and Tech Fair, many people used the controller. A man with a broken arm was even able to use the one-handed controller successfully. 

Any students that would be interested in entering the Governor’s STEM competition in the future would need to take the engineering class.

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