Wheatland Tornado Shelter Project Wins National Prize

Jun 25, 2014

A group of 8th graders from Wheatland Middle School who built a tornado shelter for a school competition won the top national prize for their efforts last week.

Christian Moody, Jacob Stafford, Joey Madsen, and Haiden Moody present their project in Washington, D.C.

Haiden Moody, Christian Moody, Joey Madsen and Jacob Stafford spent the past few months engineering a tornado safety shelter converted from an old set of school lockers. It was part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math competition put on by the U.S. Army called eCYBERMISSION.

The boys’ project advisor, Wheatland science teacher Miken Harnish, says the boys worked tirelessly—even after school ended for the year—to develop their idea.

“We were here from 9 to 3 every day for weeks after school got out,” Harnish said. “So they’re just starting summer break and they didn’t really complain about it. They stayed focused. And, you know, that effort does pay off.”

And it did pay off. Each of the boys won $5,000 at nationals—in addition to the $3,000 they’d each taken home for the regional competition.

The boys say their next move is to try to patent and sell their invention.