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Wake students seek safer bus stops, national prize

March 21, 2019

Students at Holly Grove Middle School in Holly Springs have developed a prototype sign that the believe will make school bus stops safer for students and drivers.

The group’s idea is part of the national Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, and they’re heading to New York City next Friday for the competition.

“We have to memorize our script and everything. It’s just really fun and really scary,” said sixth-grader Boston Harol.

“A couple of students shared stories of kids almost getting hit while trying to board the bus, so that led to, ‘How can we work on that?’” said Holly Grove Middle teacher Debbie Schelin.

The students reached out to experts, such as people at the state Department of Transportation and someone who could help them with the technology and creating an app.

Their idea calls for installing a box with sensors in every school bus that would send a signal to a bus stop sign as the bus approaches. The sign would then flash in different colors to alert drivers that the bus was preparing to stop.

“That tells everybody who can see the sign how far away the bus is,” said Harol.

One of their signs is already being tested in Wake County.

If the students finish in the top three in the contest next week, they would earn $100,000 worth of technology equipment for their school. But they know a successful finish will mean more for their signs.

“If we win, then our idea can actually become a thing,” said sixth-grader Jaycee Baker.

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