Friday, April 12, 2019

North Schuylkill Places Second in State PennDOT Innovations Challenge

This past week, students from North Schuylkill High School competed in the State PennDOT Innovations Challenge.

Mentored by Kelly Stone, team members included Drew Mashack and Tyler Wolfgang.

The team had previously won the regional PennDOT District 5 competition.

Since last fall, students have been working hard to solve this year’s challenge, which asked students to look at innovative methods, aside from laws and educational campaigns, that can be developed in the next five to 10 years to get drivers to slow down in work zones.

“Every day, construction workers on Pennsylvania roadways face a dangerous threat in work zones,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Despite increased enforcement efforts, work zone signage and smartphone alerts, drivers continue to commit traffic violations in work zones, which can lead to crashes or tragically someone being killed. We challenged our next generation of leaders to become an active part of the solution by developing innovative ways to tackle this transportation issue.”

The winning regional team’s innovation was the Personalized Digital Sign, a system of electronic signs that can be utilized within a work zone to inform motorists of work zone hazards and humanized the workers along with displaying work zone safety messages.

Now in its second year, the PennDOT Innovations Challenge invites high school students in grades 9-12 to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges. The Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore actual transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the very real possibility of working for PennDOT after graduation.

The Regional winners competed against each otherin Harrisburg, this past Wednesday for the state championship. The statewide winning team will be awarded $1,500 from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) to be divided among team members

North Schuylkill's team came in second place overall.

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