The Challenge

How accessible are AEDs in your community?

AEDs (automated external defibrillator) are a medical device used to treat emergency situations of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCAs are a leading cause of death in the United States and normally lead to death 90% of the time. However, AEDs can drastically increase the chance of survival. When used within the first minute of an SCA, AEDs can increase the survival rate to 90%. With each passing minute before an AED is administered, the survival rate decreases by 10%. As such, it is incredibly important for AEDs to be accessible in all public spaces.

This Meridian Stories challenge encourages teams of three to four students to use their creativity, cooperation, problem-solving skills, and communication skills to go around their community to a) create a map of existing AEDs; b) analyze the AED maps they have created and decide if their community is well prepared or if their community should take measures to increase AED accessibility; c) using this analysis, create an “ideal” AED map that solves the issues; and d) design this map in a user-friendly way to increase awareness of the proposed new distribution of AEDs.

The final product will be two AED maps created using Google Maps – the existing mapping of the AEDs and your proposed re-distribution – that will be featured in a 2-4 minute pitch video that will be presented to the Town Council, encouraging them to a) recognize the problem; b ) address the problem following the guidelines of your new map; and c) increase public awareness by adopting the design of your new user-friendly map.

Deliverables include:

  • AED Map Pitch Video (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
  • Summary of AED Mapping Research (at teacher’s discretion)
  • Shooting Script (at teacher’s discretion)


Assumptions and Logistics

Time Frame – We recommend that this Meridian Stories Competition takes place inside of a three to four-week time frame.

Length – All Meridian Stories submissions should be under 4 minutes in length, unless otherwise specified.


Submissions – Keep in mind that each school can only submit three submissions per Competition (so while the entire class can participate in the Challenge, only three can be submitted to Meridian Stories for Mentor review and scoring).

Teacher Reviews – All reviews by the teacher are at the discretion of the teacher and all suggested paper deliverables are due only to the teacher. The only deliverable to Meridian Stories is the media work.

Teacher’s Role and Technology Integrator – While it is helpful to have a Technology Integrator involved, they are not usually necessary: the students already know how to produce the media. And if they don’t, part of their challenge is to figure it out. They will! The teacher’s primary function in these Challenges is to guide the students as they engage with the content.  You don’t need to know editing, sound design, shooting or storyboarding: you just need to know your content area.

Digital Rules/Literacy – We strongly recommend that all students follow the rules of Digital Citizenry in their proper usage and/or citation of images, music and text taken from other sources. This recommendation includes producing a citations page at the end of your entry, if applicable. See the Digital Rules area in the Meridian Resources section of the site for guidance.

We strongly recommend that students do not put their last names on the piece either at the start or finish, during the credits.

Location – Try not to shoot in a classroom at your school. The classroom, no matter how you dress it up, looks like a classroom and can negatively impact the story you are trying to tell.


Slate – All media work must begin with a slate that provides:

  1. the title of the piece;
  2. the name of the school submitting; and
  3. the wording ‘Permission Granted’ which gives Meridian Stories the right to a) publicly display the submission in question on, as linked from or related to or in support of Meridian Stories digital media; and b) use it for educational purposes only.
  4. We strongly recommend that students do not put their last names on the piece either at the start or finish, during the credits.


Collaboration – We strongly recommend that students work in teams of 3-4: part of the educational value is around building collaborative skill sets. But students may work individually.

Presentation – We strongly recommend that at the end of this process, the student teams present their work either to the class and/or to assembled parents and friends as a way to showcase their work. The workforce considers Presentational Skills to be a key asset and we encourage you to allow students to practice this skill set as often as possible. These short videos provide a great opportunity for kids to practice their public presentational skills.

Our research indicates this to be a really useful exercise for two additional reasons:

  1. Students actually learn from their peers’ presentations – it is useful to hear a perspective that is not just the teacher’s; and
  2. The public setting – painful as it is for some students – provides them with an opportunity to ‘own’ their work and to be more accountable.



During Phase I, student teams will:

  • Research the value of AEDs. Understand what AEDs do and why they need to be accessible. Knowing the importance of AEDs will help you to understand the importance of this project and will be a critical part of the opening of your pitch video.
  • Choose a 0.25 mile by 0.25 mile area in your community (or larger if your community warrants it). The area that you choose should be a busy area with multiple public buildings or spaces. You should not choose a residential area. You will find your 0.25 by 0.25 area using Google Maps by following these steps:
    1. Go to the Google Maps homepage
    2. Click the menu button, which is located to the left of the search bar
    3. Click the “Your places” tab
    4. Click the “Maps” tab
    5. At the bottom, click “Create Map”
    6. Use the search bar and type in the name of your city or town
    7. Zoom into the map until you are able to see the outlines of all buildings
    8. Move the map around until you see the area that you want to choose.
    9. Using the ruler tool located beneath the search bar, create a 0.25 by 0.25 mile box containing the area you chose in step 8. When you close the square, you should see a highlighted region with measurements labeled inside.
    10. Using the “draw a line” tool located under the search bar, trace the square you created in step 9. After you create your new box, label the box “AED Map”
  • Now, before you go to the next step, brainstorm the format of your video. This is mentioned here because you may want to be shooting some of these next steps to document your processes for this pitch video. You may choose not to – it’s up to you. But it’s best to have this initial pitch video discussion early on. The four elements required to be a part of the video are:
    • Your research from Phase I, step 1 – why is the distribution of AEDs important.
    • Both maps you created in Phase I.
    • The analysis you did to create your second map.
    • The design and implementation of your new user-friendly map, once you have concluded your recommendations for the re-allocation of AEDs in your community.


  • Back to the Research: Find all AEDs in the area you have selected. To do this, inspect each building contained in your 0.25 by 0.25 square.
    1. If the building is a public building, call or visit them to find out if there are any AEDs located inside. Public buildings include, but are not limited to, libraries, schools, town halls, and recreational centers.
    2. If the building is a store or a private business, call them instead of visiting.
    3. If the building is private, such as a house or an apartment complex, do not solicit them.
    4. Using these three steps, you should be able to find most AEDs located in your 0.25 by 0.25 mile square.
  • Once you have found the AEDs in your area, use markers to mark the AEDs on your Google map. The marker tool is located under the search bar and to the right of the hand icon. Once you mark an AED, you will be prompted to label it. Label the marker by the name of the building in which the AED is located.
  • Once you have marked all AEDs on your map, take a screenshot of just the area around your map. If your computer is running Windows 7 or above, you can use the pre-loaded ‘snipping tool’ to take your screenshots. If your computer is running Mac OS, you can press Shift-Command-4 to load your screenshot tool. Your screenshots will be saved to your computer as an image. Tutorials on finding and using both tools can be easily found online.
  • After taking a screenshot of your map, import it into a blank Google Doc. Create an appropriate title and simple labels to make the map user-friendly.
  • Analyze the map. The following points will help you in your analysis:
    • The normal survival rate of a sudden cardiac arrest is about 10%.
    • Having access to an AED within the first minute of a sudden cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival to 90%.
    • The Chicago O’Hare airport created an initiative to place AEDs every 100 meters (330 feet). After doing so, the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrests in the airport increased to 56%.
    • Find one other example like the O’Hare airport example to aid your understanding of the map you have created and the need for a revised map.
    • Now, look at your map and decide whether the area you chose is sufficiently prepared for sudden cardiac arrests.
    • Teacher’s Option: Summary of AED Mapping Research – Teachers may require that teams hand in a two-page summary outlining the research conducted on AEDs and the issues that teams found in the area they chose.
  • Using your analysis from the final step, create a new map that addresses the issues you found. This new map should be informed by mathematical analysis of the current map vis-à-vis data on cardiac risks.
  • Design this new map to be user-friendly.
    • Part of the issue being addressed here is to raise awareness of the placement of the AEDs in your community. Creating a new map is fine, but not if no one ever sees it or uses it. So, you want to create a map that Community Merchants and others are happy to post and that visitors to your town may want to know about. User-friendly is the key word: create a design for a user-friendly map that can be easily distributed and displayed appropriately around town.

During Phase II, students will:

  • Re-visit the format of your video. A reminder of the four elements that are required to be a part of the video:
    • Your research from Phase I, step 1 – why is the distribution of AEDs important.
    • Both maps you created in Phase I.
    • The analysis you did to create your second map.
    • The design and proposed implementation of your new user-friendly map, once you have concluded your recommendations for the re-allocation of AEDs in your community.
  • Discuss and draft a script, perhaps based on footage that you have already shot from Phase I. Remember, this is a pitch video. Your objective is to persuade the town council to adopt your new mapping strategy and to promote your actual map. How are you going to sell your argument?
  • Discuss and map out the imagery needed to create your video. A storyboard may be useful at this point in time to help organize the visual and verbal information.
  • Pre-produce the pitch:
  • Scout locations for shooting (as necessary);
  • Contact the people that you will need to include, if interviews are a part of your video (and be sure to get their written permission to be in the video);
  • Research, as necessary, the still images that you will integrate into your pitch;
  • Create costumes, props and other set pieces, as needed;
  • Prepare the logistics for the actual shooting of the pitch (or completion of the shoot); and
  • Rehearse the scenes that will comprise the pitch.


During Phase III, students will:

  • Finalize the script
    1. Teacher’s Option: Shooting Script – Teachers may require that teams hand in their Shooting Script
  • Shoot the video
  • Record voice overs or narration if necessary.
  • Edit the video.
  • Post-produce the video, adding sound and effects if needed.


Media Support Resources

Meridian Stories provides two forms of support for the student teams:

1.    Meridian Innovators and Artists – This is a series of three to four-minute videos featuring artists and innovative professionals who offer important advice, specifically for Meridian Stories, in the areas of creativity and production.

2.    Media Resource Collection – These are short documents that offer student teams key tips in the areas of creativity, production, game design and digital citizenry.

Recommended review, as a team, for this Competition include:

Meridian Innovators and Artists Media Resource Collection
On Documentary Films – Sarah Childress

Interviewing Techniques – Tom Pierce

On Producing – Tom Pierce

On Editing – Tom Pierce

“Conducting an Interview”

“Sound Recording Basics”

“Six Principles of Documentary Filmmaking”

“Rendering and Animation Programs”



Evaluation Rubric – Make a Map – Save a Life

Criteria 1 – 3 4 – 7 8 – 10
Creating original AED Map The map is poorly made and lacks attention to detail The map is comprehensible and provides details The map is well-made and is thoroughly detailed
Analyzing the Map Analysis is superficial Analysis is thoughtful and detailed Analysis is thorough and insightful
New Map – Developing Solutions The new map does not solve the problem identified The new map does solve the problem identified The new map represents a significant step forward in local AED distribution
STEAM Implementation The project demonstrates weak utilization and little understanding of complex STEAM content The project reveals sufficient utilization and understanding of complex STEAM content The project reveals a thoughtful utilization and thorough understanding of complex STEAM content
Criteria 1 – 3 4 – 7 8 – 10
Presentation of Analysis The maps and analysis are not presented clearly The maps and analysis are presented clearly The maps and analysis are presented clearly and thoroughly
Persuasion The video is not persuasive The video is persuasive The video succeeds in convincing the audience of the validity of your research and your solution
The New Map The design of the new map is not engaging, user-friendly, or particularly informative The design of the new map communicates your information The design of the new map is engaging, user-friendly, and informative
Criteria 1 – 3 4 – 7 8 – 10
Mixed Visual Media The use of video, stills, animation, graphics and/or text is often confusing and not well matched to the goals of the video The use of video, stills, animation, graphics and/or text is suitable to the goals of the video The use of video, stills, animation, graphics and/or text is engaging, visually interesting and well matched to the goals of the video
Editing – Visual and Sound The video feels patched together and the sound editing detracts from the narrative The visual and sound editing of the video is fluid The visual and sound editing is fluid and creative, resulting in an engaging video experience


21ST CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only)
Criteria 1-3 4-7 8-10
Collaborative Thinking The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally The group worked together effectively and had no major issues The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member
Creativity and Innovation The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their evaluation and implementation of those ideas The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively
Initiative and Self-Direction The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project


Essential Questions

  1. What are AEDs and why should they always be easily accessible?
    1. Is your local community sufficiently prepared for sudden cardiac arrests?
  2. What are the mathematics and STEAM processes involved in mapping and mapping analysis?
  3. How has completing this project affected your relationship with and understanding of your community?
  4. How does one translate STEAM content into user-friendly content?
  5. How has immersion in the creation of original content and the production of digital media – exercising one’s creativity, critical thinking, and digital literacy skills – deepened the overall educational experience?
  6. How has working on a team – practicing one’s collaborative skills – changed the learning experience?


Student Proficiencies

  1. The student will gain a deeper understanding of what AEDs are and how important it is for AEDs to be easily accessible, especially in areas with high traffic.
  2. The student will have experience with mixing these skill sets – Google maps, data collection, geometry, measurement – in the service of real world problem-solving.
  3. The student will gain an increased awareness and understanding of some of the needs, opportunities and constraints of their community.
  4. The student will have experience translating STEAM content into a user-friendly experience for the local community.
  5. The student will utilize 21st century skills, with a focus on creativity, critical thinking and digital literacy, in their process of translating scientific content – the data collected – into a public service entity.
  6. The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration. Collaboration – the ability to work with others – is considered one of the most important 21st century skills to develop in students as they prepare for life after secondary school.






Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Curricular Correlations

The Make a Map – Save a Life Competition addresses a range of curricular objectives that are articulated in the NGSS and Common Core Mathematics Standards. Below please find the standards that are addressed, either wholly or in part.

Common Core – Mathematics

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.A.1 – Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6 – Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.MG.A.3 – Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.GPE.B.7 – Use coordinates to compute perimeters of polygons and areas of triangles and rectangles, e.g., using the distance formula.*

NGSS Standards

MS-ETS1-4 Engineering Design – Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

HS-LS2-7 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity

HS-ETS1-3 Engineering Design – Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

HS-ESS3-6 Earth and Human Activity – Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.