NewsDepth A+: Traffic Cows

Here’s one of my favorite jokes…  Why did the cow cross the street? Give up? To get to the other side, safely. Ok, maybe that isn’t a good joke, but crossing the street safely is no joking matter. This week's NewsDepth A+ Award goes to the Traffic Cows, Mansfield Seventh Day Adventist School’s robotics team for creating a device that helps students cross city streets safely.

The Traffic Cows compete in the First Lego League, which is an international robotics competition for students in elementary and middle schools. The competitors are presented with real world problems that they have research and solve. The challenge that the Traffic Cows had to solve was how to make improvements to city life. 

“The Traffic Cows heard about a crossing guard in another city who was hit by a car. They decided to research how dangerous cars can be to pedestrians and learned that crossing streets can be very dangerous for kids walking to school” shared Christina Dotson, the team’s coach and the school’s principal.

The group of fourth through eighth grade students learned that visibility was a key factor in safety for children crossing the street. 

“I really enjoyed learning about crossing the street safely for school,” Samantha Bittner said.

They used the problem solving and design skills they learned in their STEM class, that’s science, technology, engineering and math, to build the “Cross Walker.” The Cross Walker is an accordion fence that helps draw attention to students as they cross the street.  

“We made this to protect kids from getting hurt” Huck Fuller shared. Mikey Fuller added “we were hoping to make school crossings safer with our design.”

The team built and tested a working prototype with help from Officer Gary, a local police officer from the Richland County Sheriff's Office.

David Clayburn said that he hopes the “Cross Walker will be used in the future to keep more people safe.”

This weeks’ NewsDepth A+ Award goes to Traffic Cows from Mansfield Seventh Day Adventist School for researching, designing, and building a safer way to cross the street. Just remember, always look both ways!

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.

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