Some Wake County middle school students are gaining national recognition and tens of thousands of dollars in new computers for their school because of their efforts to make it safer at school bus stops.
The team of sixth-grade students at Holly Grove Middle School in Holly Springs developed a prototype solar-powered sign that automatically flashes when a school bus comes within 400 feet of the stop. Their idea resulted in them being named this month among 10 national finalists for the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Contest.
The team will travel to New York City in April to publicly pitch their idea and potentially win $100,000 in technology and supplies for their school. They’ve already won $70,000 for Holly Grove Middle. The public can vote this month to give the school another $10,000.
Regardless of what happens in New York, their idea is gaining traction. The Wake County school system placed their prototype sign at a stop near their school and is looking at placing more signs in areas where there have been a large number of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses.
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“We are exploring how to expand the impact of our Samsung Safe School Bus Stop,” Holly Grove students say in their video about the project. “We are considering adding audio alerts for visually impaired students.
“Our goal is to help prevent even one more child’s face from being added to this page (of bus stop fatalities).”
In the meantime, the 10 national finalists are competing to win the $10,000 in new technology awarded to the Community Choice Winner. People can go online to https://www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/ and cast a vote once each day.
Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 27, 2019.