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PennDOT 'Innovations Challenge' Winners Announced

05/12/2022

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that a team of students from Monroe Career and Technical Institute in Bartonsville, Monroe County has been selected as the statewide winner for the 2021-2022 Innovations Challenge.

Since last fall, high school students in grades nine through 12 have been working hard to solve this year's challenge, which asked students to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective public engagement strategy, beyond the current public engagement procedures (outlined in Publication 295) that uses innovative technologies and tools that PennDOT can implement to more effectively engage and connect with all age groups during the transportation planning and project development process. 

"Each year, the PennDOT Innovations Challenge allows us to turn to the next generation of leaders to become an active part of proposing potential solutions to the challenges we face," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "I commend all of the students who participated in this year's challenge for their ingenuity and creativity in developing solutions to this real-world transportation challenge."

Mentored by Ross Ruschman, the statewide winning team members are Neylla Joseph, Kyle Jarrett, Brittany Ulate-Mora, and Gavin Glukhoy. Their proposed innovative solution was the PaE3 program, which stands for Excite, Educate and Engage. The PaE3 program is an innovative way of using existing technologies to approach the need for communication between PennDOT and its key stakeholders and get citizens involved in PennDOT's planning and project development process. The program focuses on using existing technologies to approach the need for communication between PennDOT and its key stakeholders, including using map applications like Waze and Google Maps to provide notifications about proposed road work projects, similar to how those sites show accidents and current construction projects.

Now in its fifth year, the Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore real transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the very real possibility of working for PennDOT or in the transportation industry after graduation.

For this year's challenge, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) provided $2,500 and the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) provided $1,500 for a combined total award of $4,000 for this year's first place team.

For complete details, visit the Innovations Challenge webpage at www.penndot.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jan Huzvar, jhuzvar@pa.gov,  717-409-3840

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