Winners of SAFR Challenge announced

The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (E+I) and the Department of Physics at Grove City College announced the winners of the inaugural SAFR Challenge Final Round.

The SAFR (Strain and Force Reduction) Challenge tasks teams of students with developing and building a headband designed to reduce the prevalence of concussions in collegiate soccer players. The Challenge, previously designed by physics Professor Dr. Shane Brower as a lab for students in his SCIC 201: Fundamentals of the Universe class at Grove City College, has developed into an on-stage pitch competition with the help of E+I. It also now includes a division for homeschool and cyber school students. There are cash prizes for both divisions.

The Challenge provides students training in the scientific method in an applied format and – critical for the high school-aged home and cyber school students, an opportunity to work with scientific equipment in a laboratory setting. The partnership with E+I adds the excitement of a public competition that affords students communication, networking, and presentation skills essential to entrepreneurs and business professionals.

The top teams from both divisions faced off in a live challenge in October that was judged by the Grove City College Women’s Soccer Team, Grove City College entrepreneurship professors, and Faith Henriquez, concussion care advocate and author of “Goodbye Concussion.”

The winning Grove City College teams are:

  • First Place – Strike: Ransom Coffeen ‘24, Jacob McGuire ‘24, and Shelton Brower ‘24. $100 each.
  • Second Place – Match Fit 360: Jessie Billante ‘23, Thomas Botkin ‘23, and Gianna D'Amato ‘24. $75 each.
  • Third Place – HardHat Headband: Amber Flynn ‘24, Kacie Elmer ‘24, and Ashley During ‘25. $50 each.

The winning junior and senior high teams are:

  • First Place – Shield: Chalina and Cheylan Brower, Boyers, Pa., and Mary Graybill, Grove City. $50 each.
  • Second Place – Concussion Care: Abiella Barbour, Stoneboro, Pa., Jaden Butler, Clinton, Pa., and Elizabeth Fraley, New Wilmington, Pa. $40 each.
  • Third Place – X-Factor: Abby Bonaquist, Hermitage, Pa., Paul Hardesty, Beaver, Pa., and Jill Thiele, Butler, Pa. $30 each.

The SAFR Challenge represents a collaboration between the College’s science and entrepreneurship programs that demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of discovery and innovation. E+I serves to provide students of all majors with practical skills and hands-on experiences that prepare them to innovate and succeed in their chosen field.

“One primary goal of this competition is to help students understand the essential role of non-STEM professionals in helping to solve STEM-related problems,” Brower said. “A collaboration with the folks at E+I was a natural fit, based on their extensive experience working with majors from a wide array of disciplines; and their expertise significantly enhanced the excitement level and overall learning impact of the experience.” 

For more about Physics at Grove City College, visit For more about the Center for E+I and to watch the livestream, visit

Winners of SAFR Challenge announced

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