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This Cheerleader Invented What Lifesaver?

If you want to get something done, ask a mom to do it. If it's technical, get an engineer mom on the job. And if the project needs some attention? We don't know, maybe engage a mom engineer who used to be an NFL cheerleader?

That's kind of how it went to bring the Intel Smart Clip to market. Smart Clip is a small BlueTooth device that attaches to the straps in a baby's carseat and sends an alert to a caregiver's phone if the child has been left in the car.

Among the brains behind the Smart Clip is Marcie Miller, engineer, new mom and former professional cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals. She was part of the Intel team who created this solution for the all-too-frequent problem of kids dying of heatstroke after being accidentally left in the car.

So far this year, 18 children in the U.S. have died of heatstroke in cars, according to KidsAndCars.org. More than half of kids who die are simply left behind by a caregiver who has forgotten they are in the backseat.

This is especially useful where Miller lives—Chandler, Ariz., where temperatures exceeded 110 degrees this summer. But kids everywhere are vulnerable, particularly in the summertime, even where thermometers rarely crack 100.

So how did an NFL cheerleader get assigned to this project? Her background in engineering.

Miller grew up in Arizona excelling in math, science and athletics. She majored in electrical engineering at Arizona State University, where she also joined the ASU cheerleading squad. That double life continued after college when she was hired at Intel. She loved the work but missed the camaraderie of women. So, in 2007, she tried out as a cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals.

She made the team and traveled the world. She kept on as an engineer, too.

Miller's career as a professional cheerleader ended in 2010. But her life as an engineer and mother grew. A year and a half ago, she gave birth to her daughter Brooklyn, now 16 months, and she has a second child on the way. Knowing what life is like with a baby and full-time work informed her ideas and the design of Smart Clip.


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