Saturday, February 22, 2020

PennDOT Announces First District Winner Of Student Innovation Litter Challenge

On February 21, the Department of Transportation announced the first district winner of the 2020 Student Innovation Litter Challenge-- team members LaceyJo Hunter and Destiny Krome from Northwest PA Collegiate Academy in PennDOT District 1 in Erie County. 
They are mentored by teacher James Fleming.
The winning regional team’s innovation was the Litter Bug mobile application, which would give drivers and passengers the ability to record littering as it is happening and report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency. 
“Last year, PennDOT spent nearly $13 million cleaning up roadside litter across Pennsylvania,” said Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “These dollars could have otherwise been spent on delivering a better transportation network and making Pennsylvania a better state in which to live.” 
“The issue of litter along our highways is multi-faceted, so the solution must be too,” said Brian McNulty, Assistant District Executive – Design and regional judge. “The Innovations Challenge is a great way for us to hear a variety of fresh ideas that will hopefully lead to a cleaner roadway system.” 
Now in its third 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 contest gave my students an opportunity to think creatively about a real-world problem, and some were able to present their ideas to professionals who listened with respect,” said Fleming. “This validation told my students that even though they are still in high school, they can have impactful ideas and possibly make lasting contributions to their community and state. That alone made this competition truly meaningful.”
Other regional winners will be selected as judging continues who will move on to compete in Harrisburg for the state championship.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful organization are providing a combined total award of $3,000 to be divided among the first, second and third place statewide winning teams.
For more information on the competition, visit PennDOT’s 2020 Student Innovation Litter Challenge webpage.  [The deadline for entries has passed.] Questions about the Challenge should be directed to:
Related Articles: 
[Posted: February 22, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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