Students from Holly Springs invent a school bus stop sign and win a $ 20,000 technology award


HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) – Students at Holly Grove Middle School hope their plan to improve bus stop safety will help them win a national competition and even save lives.

Students designed a bus stop sign that flashes as they approach a bus, hoping to warn drivers and students waiting at a stop that the bus is near.

"We also interviewed bus drivers and everyone said pretty much that there had been a lot of stop-and-go violations," said sixth grade student Deija Reed. "My friend was almost hit by a car crossing the road."

Data from a report from the Public Education Department of the month of March 2018 indicate that nearly 3,000 incidents occurred in a year of cars passed through school buses while they should have been unplanned. stop to allow children to get on and off the bus.

Wake County bus drivers reported 290 of these incidents, compared with 210 in Cumberland County and 86 in Durham County.

Since many of the children involved in the project in Holly Grove were themselves bus drivers, they wanted to find a way to improve safety.

Their design helped them win a $ 20,000 technology award at Samsung's "Solve for Tomorrow" contest. Now that they have won at the state level, they are looking to be among the top 10 national finalists.

Their design uses an app on a phone on the bus to communicate with a solar panel when the bus is within 300 feet of it. The sign flashes in different colors to indicate that the bus is about to stop or move away.

In addition to warning other drivers that the bus is planning to stop, this is an additional warning to children that the bus is approaching when they may be distracted or unable to get on the bus. To hear the bus.

Thanks to Samsung's technology prize and the help of the Ministry of Transport, students were able to test a prototype of the project on Friday.

Sixth grade student Simi Adetunji said he felt it was "pretty cool because you're doing something you've planned for a long time."

The students also made a video about their project, which they will submit when they try to move on to the next round.

The ten national finalists will see their previous winnings raised to $ 50,000. Of these 10 candidates, three will be national winners and receive a prize of $ 100,000.

The community will also have the opportunity to vote online to help one of the 10 national finalists receive an additional prize.