PennDOT Announces ‘Innovations Challenge’ for High School Students

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that high school students from around the state are invited to participate in the seventh 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 a plan for the replacement of an aging multi-lane roadway that will reconnect previously separated neighborhoods and incorporates community needs, such as accommodating bicycle and pedestrian traffic, allowing for new business development and ensuring the smooth flow of traffic. The proposed solution should also consider additional costs to restore the affected community.

“The transportation planners of the future are key to reestablishing communities that have been disconnected by infrastructure,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “I’m confident we will see some fresh and creative approaches for PennDOT to consider as we continue working to address this long-standing issue.”

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 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.

“PennDOT is always looking for bright minds to join our team. I hope that participation in the Innovations Challenge will help steer a cohort of students to the possibilities of a future career in the transportation industry,” Carroll said.