MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. - Labor Day was the unofficial end of summer, but the weather is still hot outside - that means it's still important to look before you lock and make sure children aren't left in hot cars.
Susan Quave, a teacher at Johnson County Middle School, created a car alarm system that fights the problem of hot car deaths across the United States.
Every day, she greets her students before science class. The new lesson for the week is engineering. She asks, "Engineering. How many of you want to be engineers?"
Her students say they problem solve and invent patented prototypes. She teaches that lesson in school, and in real life, she's acting on it.
Last month, her invention, the Don't Forget Me child car seat system, received a provisional patent. "Where the idea came from is the summer when a lot of infants were in circumstances where they lost their lives because they were left in hot vehicles," she says.
Quave is a teacher, a mother, and a grandmother, and she wants to prevent that situation. So she sketched out her idea and sent it to Invention Home, where it all came together.
She told News 5 about the invention. "When the driver leaves the car, the speaker will say, 'Don't forget about me.' When the driver shuts the door, after two minutes, the beacon light, which is on the fan of the child's infant seat, will come on and the beacon light will say, 'Child in danger.'"
When the driver and baby sit on the cushion, the system is activated. Quave researched products on the market to make sure hers is different. "The difference in mine for the patent was the fans with the beacon light."
There are air holes on the infant seat that circulate air, Quave says. "What little air the fan is going to give, it might give a couple minutes to a child's life," she says.
As a parent, Quave knows that life can get busy. She just wants to make sure all kids, even the kids in her classroom, are safe.
Now Quave is waiting to hear a response from manufacturers. She says she's hoping to get picked up by Graco car seats.