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PennDOT Announces Regional Innovations Challenge Winner


​The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that a team of students from the North Schuylkill High School has been selected as the PennDOT District 5 winner for its second Innovations Challenge.

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

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.

“I would like to thank all the schools that participated in this year’s challenge,” said PennDOT District 5 Executive Mike Rebert. “We received many innovative and imaginative entries in our region. The quality of the all the presentations is a true testament to the hard work and ingenuity of these students.”     

Regional winners will now move on to compete in Harrisburg on April 10 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.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sean Brown, 610-871-4556,