Noah Graybeal, a student at McMinn County High School, has been competitive in the STEM Fair program at his school for the past two years. This year, however, the pandemic caused regular competitions at the school and district levels to be cancelled. At the start of the pandemic, he and many others in his community needed good and specific information about the efficacy of masks, and as the pandemic progressed, this inspired him to design his own mask. Noah persisted with his research and was selected to present at the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. His research involved masks, carbon filters and custom sealing mask fitting. His project was inspired by his brother's need for comfortable masks, as he is a Cystic Fibrosis patient. His research began in the pre-COVID era, but quickly gained relevance as the pandemic progressed.
Noah was the only student from his school to continue his research at this level this year. He was one of 14 students from across the state to be selected to present at the symposium. His project was the only engineering project to be selected. He was commended for his relevant and unique design and was encouraged to market his custom mask.
The McMinn County native plays on the Varsity Golf and Soccer Teams. He is also involved in the Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society and Big Kids Do Science program. He is an active member of Keith United Methodist Church Youth and volunteers in the sound / video booth to livestream services every Sunday morning. He also volunteers for Let’s Read 20, a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving children’s literacy skills in McMinn County.