All-female team from Reach Cyber Charter School to receive scholarships for their litter control innovation
SMOKE RUN – An all-female team of high school students from Reach Cyber Charter School have been awarded third place in the state championship of the 2019-20 PennDOT Innovations Challenge.
The team is comprised of sisters Audrey Vereshack and Madelyn Vereshack, 10th– and 11th-grade students from Smoke Run, and their peer, Elyssia Good, a ninth-grade student from Lancaster. Their winning entry was a Litter Impact app to incentivize highway cleanup.
“I am so proud of this team of students,” said Jessica Vernouski, a STEM Coach at Reach Cyber Charter School and the team’s mentor for the PennDOT competition.
“Through their dedicated collaboration, Audrey, Madelyn and Elyssia were able to utilize facets from their STEM education to develop an innovation that was beneficial, practical and sustainable. Their state-wide recognition is highly deserved.”
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.
This year, students were asked to solve the following state-wide 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?
In February, the Reach Cyber team came out on top when they presented their innovation, the Litter Impact app, at the District 8 Regional Competition.
The app gets users involved and invested in community cleanup by incentivizing litter control with fun and monetary prizes.
Their regional success earned them one of the 12 spots in the state championship, which was held through virtual submission and winners were announced on May 14.
Impressed by the team’s creative solution to help PennDOT more efficiently, effectively and safely control litter along roadways, the Smoke Run Vereshack sisters and Lancaster’s Good earned third place in the state and were awarded a $600 combined scholarship from the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful organization and the American Traffic Safety Services Association.
Reach Cyber Charter School is a Pennsylvania statewide, tuition-free, online public charter school for students in grades K-12.
Serving more than 3,600 students virtually across the state of Pennsylvania, Reach Cyber delivers an award-winning curriculum with STEM enrichment opportunities, engaging electives, technology tools, and online and in-person social experiences for families who want an individualized approach to education.