Great Kids |

There’s already a nail polish on the market that women can use to detect the presence of a date rape drug in their drink.

But Sarah Emr and Alyssa Madara, both juniors at Patchogue-Medford High School, thought mixing a drink with fingers might be a bit icky.

So they developed an idea to use special, bio-degradable straws and cups that could do the same thing.

“We were concerned about everyone’s safety and wanted to create a product to help them — and keep everybody safe,” said Alyssa. “We figured with cups or straws, bars can actually sell them; they would already be there.”

“And with nail polish, you’d have to actually take the time to put it on,” added Sarah.

The pair came up with the winning idea for the first-ever entrepreneurial competition at the school, modeled after ABC’s popular Shark Tank show.

Their idea — which they’re calling SafeGuard — was good enough to take first place in the Shark Tank contest, of which 17 students, from sophomores to seniors, competed on Feb. 28.

The contest was hosted by the Patchogue Young Professionals business networking group.

“[Sarah and Alyssa] had all their numbers and their research done to back up their idea,” said Stephen King of Realty Connect USA, a co-founder and board member of the Young Professionals group.

The honorable mention, or second place, went to the group behind Toasty Toes, which was a slipper that warmed at the bottom, King explained.

“Their presentation was incredible. They were enthusiastic and they educated themselves on the product very well, and we could tell by the questions we [the judges] asked,” he said.

All the students’ efforts were coordinated by faculty members Lorraine Meyer, a school-to-career coordinator at the high school, as well as Michelle Mars, who runs the DECA club.

“What we found to be so nice was the judges made the students feel very comfortable presenting their product line,” Meyer said. “They also taught them a little bit about merchandising and setting up a business and potential franchises.

“We really pleased with the opportunity to have the students learn from experts in our community.”

For their work, Sarah and Alyssa were presented a $500 check Thursday at the school.

The prize money came from the Young Professionals.

With her cut, Sarah is looking to fund a class president campaign.

Alyssa is going to fund her own version of fun.

“I’m going to an Ariana Grande concert,” she said with a smile.

Though they weren’t able to produce a prototype of their cups and straws idea, they’re both confident the idea is feasible, based on their research. They hope of making it a reality one day.

“It’s discreet; it’s just awesome,” King said. “The contest went over so well that next year we’re looking to do it again, and we want to double the prize money.”

The entire idea was to give back to the younger generation, he added.

“Even younger professionals.”

The students pictured (front, L-R) are Ivy Ma, Mary Savi, Sarah Emr, Alyssa Madara, Rachel Stein and Gabriella Cadolino.

Top Photo (L-R): Patchogue Young Professionals planning board members Tiffany Rivera, Michele Cayea and Stephen King present a $500 award to students Sarah Emr and Alyssa Madara Thursday at Patchogue-Medford High School. (Credit: Michael White)