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PennDOT Announces Regional Innovations Challenge Winner


King of Prussia, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that a team of students from the PA Virtual Charter School, headquartered in King of Prussia, Montgomery County has been selected as the PennDOT District 6 winner for its third Innovations Challenge.

Team members include Layla Koon, Alysandra Chen, and Logan Seaver.

Since last fall, students have been working hard to solve this year’s challenge: Aside from laws, programs and educational campaigns, what cost-effective, innovative solution can be developed in the next five to 10 years to help PennDOT more efficiently, effectively and safely control litter along roadways?

“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 winning regional team’s innovative idea is to initiate a statewide litter competition, which they refer to as The SLC Program. The program will work in conjunction with such programs as PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway to incentivize teams to proactively educate the public about litter issues, while also helping to clean state roadways.

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.

“It is important to gain perspective from our next generation of leaders to combat such problems as litter,” said District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain. “Litter is an increasing problem of great concern that costs District 6 approximately 5.2 million dollars a year, which is money that could be used for other transportation needs.”

On Wednesday, April 29, regional winners will move on to compete in Harrisburg for the state championship.

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) organization are providing a combined total award of $3,000 to be divided among the first, second and third place statewide winning teams.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Robyn Briggs, 610-205-6799