Three first graders from Evanston’s Kingsley Elementary School took second place in a national science competition held recently in Washington.

The three, Margaret Huerta, Nina Kaiser, and Mackenzie Greco won in the kindergarten to third grade category of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program, the world’s largest K-12 student science competition.

Their winning project, dubbed the Lice-A-Nator, envisions a computerized hairbrush with special bristles and processors that not only detect the presence of the creepy crawlers, but also kills them with tiny on-board lasers. The students say it would be a safe and easy way to be rid of the childhood peril of lice once and for all.

They were chosen from 5,206 teams from across the U.S. and Canada, representing the participation of 15,963 students in this year’s program.

The Kingsley team previously came in first in a regional stage of the competition.

ExploraVision is designed to promote education in important STEM — science, technology, engineering and math —  disciplines.

Top: Members of the winning Kingsley team, Margaret Huerta, Nina Kaiser, and Mackenzie Greco savor their victory with U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in Washington. (Photo by Jacqueline Malonson.)

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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