PennDOT’s ‘Innovations Challenge’ Invites Students to Develop Transportation Planning, Project Development

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the fifth 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.

Taking Pennsylvania’s diverse demographics into consideration, this year’s Innovations Challenge asks students to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective public engagement strategy, beyond the current public engagement procedures (outlined in detail in Publication 295) that uses innovative technologies and tools, that PennDOT can implement to more effectively engage and connect with all age groups during the transportation planning and project development process.

“Public engagement is vital to PennDOT’s transportation planning and project development efforts,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “However, it can be challenging to bridge technology and generational gaps to ensure all demographics are engaged and involved as we plan for the needs of our statewide transportation system.”

“In addition to the challenge itself, we hope that this experience will open students’ minds to the possibility of a career in transportation after graduation, maybe even with PennDOT,” Gramian added.

Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to compete for the state championship. The Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) organization is providing an award of $2,500 to the statewide winning team.

For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.gov/innovation and click on Innovations Challenge. The submission deadline is Dec. 17, 2021.