The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reminds high school students of the upcoming Jan. 27 deadline for the sixth annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers.
The Innovations Challenge is open to all students in grades 9-12, regardless of their school’s learning model.
For this year’s challenge, students are asked to develop ideas to help address the shortage of commercial truck parking along major interstate corridors in Pennsylvania. Trucks parking on highway shoulders and ramps is common during overnight hours and presents a significant safety issue.
The challenge asks students to select one of Pennsylvania’s interstate corridors where truck parking is a known issue and develop an innovative approach to increase commercial truck parking availability in that area and offset costs incurred for construction. The solution must consider local ordinances and zoning laws for the area selected, commercial entity interaction in land development, community impact, restroom facilities, and space requirements for commercial trucks that are generally 70 to 80 feet long.
Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to present their solutions to the PennDOT Secretary and a panel of judges, who will determine the statewide winner. For this year’s challenge, the Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC),has donated $2,500 and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA)has donated $1,500 for a combined total award of $4,000 to the statewide winning team.
For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.pa.gov/innovationand click on Innovations Challenge.