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Stamford Boy's 'Bullying Button' Wins High Honors In National Contest

Stamford fifth-grader Brian Chen, right, is congratulated by (l-r) Pfizer scientist Rosemary Orciari, Stamford Mayor David Martin, school principal Amy Beldotti, and teacher Leigh Ann Mobarik. Photo Credit: Contributed
Stamford fifth-grader Brian Chen meets Mayor David Martin. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. — A Stamford fifth-grader’s simply ingenious invention to combat bullying has transformed into a national prize for him and $5,000 for his school’s science programs.

In fall 2017, Pfizer and Scholastic launched the If Kids Could Cure contest, asking children in grades K to 5 to dream up solutions to medical and societal problems and help make the world a better place.

Brian Chen of Toquam Magnet Elementary School said he wanted to create a wearable “bullying button” that could alert others if a person is feeling bullied.

His idea netted him runner-up honors in the national contest and his school received a $5,000 grant for its science programs and books for Chen’s classroom.

The contest was inspired by the Pfizer Dreaming of Cures ad, which tells the story of Rosemary Orciari, quality operations site lead at Pfizer. As a young girl, Orciari was diagnosed with cancer and dreamed of a cure when she was in and out of the hospital.

Once she became well, she dreamed of becoming a scientist to help find cures for others like herself.

At Pfizer, she has worked on a variety of projects and seen the impact her work has had on the lives of others.

On Monday, Orciari visited Chen’s classroom to present him with a certificate and to participate in a brainstorming session around the “bullying button” with his class.

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