Midd-West Team Wins PennDOT Challenge | News, Sports, Jobs

From staff reports

MIDDLEBURG — A team of students from the Midd-West School District has been selected as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s District 3 winner for its sixth Innovations Challenge.

Team members included Jesse Witkowski, Ryland Portzline, Ben Hummel and Ayden Hoover, who were mentored by teachers Matt Dietz, AJ Steininger and Kathy Shellenberger.

The PennDOT Innovations Challenge invites high school students across the state to develop creative solutions to real-world transportation challenges. The goal is to help students explore the real challenges facing PennDOT and the transportation industry, as well as consider the possibility of working in the industry upon graduation.

Since their announcement last October, the students are diligently developing creative and strategic solutions to a real-life transportation challenge. This year, teams were tasked with selecting one of Pennsylvania’s interstate corridors where truck parking is a known problem and developing an innovative approach to increase the availability of commercial truck parking in that area and offset the building costs.

“Pennsylvania is a critical freight corridor for commercial drivers bound for destinations across the continent,” said Mike Carroll, acting Secretary of Transportation. “It’s inspiring to see the next generation of problem solvers tackling the problems of today with the creativity and ingenuity of tomorrow.”

The winning regional team’s innovation was the shoulder stop — a pull-out area with enough parking for several full-size commercial trucks as well as restrooms and a shower area. The team interviewed truckers during their research, integrated existing technologies and created digital graphics for their presentation.

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