April 28, 2020
The primary goal of Mobility21, a National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility, is to develop and deploy technologies, policies, incentives and training programs for improving the mobility of people and goods in the 21st century efficiently and safely. We accomplish this through a comprehensive program of interdisciplinary research; education and workforce development with a focus on diversity; collaboration with university, deployment, and government partners; and technology transfer and leadership efforts.
We view research and education as two sides of the same coin. We cannot educate for future generations without exposing them to research, development and deployment. On the other hand, we cannot do successful research, development and deployment without the input of future generations.
Therefore, when we were approached to help support 2 regional high schools (Frazier and Norwin) as they compete in the Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge, the answer was a resounding “Yes.”
The Square One Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
Update provided by Barb Land, Executive Director
The Square One Education Network (Square One) is a Michigan-based non-profit K-12 STEM educational organization, annually reaching nearly 12,000 students and 500 teachers with hands on, project based STEM programming. This year, Square One partnered with ITS America to offer their Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge to kids across the United States. Building upon a toddler jeep platform, students are introduced to Arduino, Python, GPS and sensor technologies as they re-engineer their jeep to complete various mission challenges autonomously. “Our goal is to engage high school students in real world STEM challenges that will lead them toward college and career pathways in leading edge technologies such as autonomous and connected vehicles. Students build their professional and technical skills that will help to narrow the skills gap and fill the needs for our future STEM workforce!” said Barb Land, executive director Square One Education Network. “We are thrilled to build these new partnerships in Pennsylvania with Carnegie Mellon University and to serve students at Frazier and Norwin High Schools.”
Frazier High School, Perryopolis, PA (Fayette County)
Update provided by Michael Smith, Technology Education Teacher
At Frazier, we were in the beginning stages of research before school cancelled for the year. My Aerospace class was working on this project. Since our last unit was autonomous design, I felt this was the class for this challenge.
At Frazier, we have been trying to get involved anywhere we can. The more exposure we give our students, the better off they’ll be for future endeavors. We have a robotics club at our school, advised by another teacher, and are starting to get more into robotics as we hope to hold VEX competitions at our school starting next year.
We are excited to take on this project and hopefully others within square one. The sad part is that the students who were working on the Jeep are all seniors and will not be able to finish out the project but there will be more interested students ahead.
Norwin High School, North Huntingdon, PA (Westmoreland County)
Update provided by Robert Shuber, Technology Education Department Chair
During the 2019-20 school year I was forwarded an email from my administration at Norwin. The email was from Mike Post of Traffic Products and it was an offer for our high school to join other schools across America in an Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Competition.
For us, this competition would include a partnership with The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America among others. Upon further research into the program, we learned that the organization behind all this was the Square One Education Network.
As a technology, robotics, and engineering teacher I have been involved in several robotics and engineering competitions. I have been involved in Bots IQ combat robotics, Sea Perch Underwater robotics, and other Engineering design challenges. All these challenges offered a unique experience for my students. When I looked into the AIVD design competition I was intrigued that once again I could offer another unique experience for my students at Norwin High School.
I assembled my group of students to embark on this adventure of hacking into a Power Wheels Jeep and make it self driving. My students are all part of the Norwin Technology Club, where our mission is to provide the latest and greatest STEM opportunities to our students.
I currently have nine students that take part in the AIVD program. They worked hard at assembling the JEEP from the start. Once it was assembled, we began to brainstorm for solutions on how to meet the task challenges. They were provided opportunities to 3D print custom parts and learn how to program an arduino using the ROBOTC programming language.
They were able to successfully complete the Alpha task as well as the Bravo task. These completed tasks were video recorded and submitted to the Edmoto platform which allows all members to view from across the country.
Another great opportunity that this program has offered is the partnerships with local businesses and universities such as Carnegie Mellon. These partnerships add another level of depth to our students and their quest to find a career that will have an impact on their future and the future of others.
We look forward to continuing to support Frazier and Norwin High School’s competitors. We are also working with each school to find ways to increase exposure to Carnegie Mellon University, Traffic21 Institute and Mobility21 UTC. We wish them the best as they continue in this year’s competition.