Detector Protector: High School Athlete Dedicates Off-Field Time to Concussion Sensor Device Development

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Braeden Benedict poses for a portrait at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2012. Benedict won a national science award for a device (below) that can be fitted into youth football and lacrosse helmets to help identify potential concussions. He has applied for a patent. (Photos by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

In the Southern California coastal community of Palos Verdes, one high school student is developing devices that could help thousands of young people avoid serious sports-related brain injuries.

Since 2012, 16-year-old Braeden Benedict, a rising junior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, has developed two devices that are capable of detecting concussions in athletes.

A football player himself, Benedict has seen several friends and teammates experience concussions and accompanying symptoms. One friend suffered a concussion during a football game that went undiagnosed for weeks. In his video for the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Benedict stated it was not until the friend complained of an inability to focus and was failing all of his classes that the concussion was diagnosed. Benedict knew that better sideline evaluation tools were needed to detect serious brain injuries. 

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