CARLSBAD, N.M. – The wheels on the bus go round and round, but soon you can see just where in town they are going.
Carlsbad High School students Riley Antiporda and Andres Chappa are designing a system to address the lack of real-time information available to parents and school administrators when students are on a school bus. EM Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) management and operations contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) is helping fund the effort.
“Providing students with a strong foundation for solving complex problems is essential for future research and discovery of issues existing in today’s society,” said Nichole Lundgard, NWP engineering manager. “The local community has a pool of talent ready to be captured by NWP, and if they have an education in engineering, science, math, and robotics, they will be well positioned to join us at WIPP.”
The high school offers a course called Engineering Design and Development (EDD), the fourth class in a program of engineering courses designed to introduce students to the engineering mindset. In EDD, students identify a problem and use the engineering process to develop a functioning and marketable solution.
After brainstorming a problem to solve, Antiporda and Chappa landed on creating a system to passively detect elementary students boarding and unloading from buses and generate real-time GPS location information for the students’ parents. Inspiration for the project came from Chappa’s mother, a schoolteacher.
The system will monitor the status of students from when they board a bus to when they get off. It requires a smartphone app, onboard student detection, and a server and database to store information and coordinate the flow of data.
Antiporda and Chappa have begun developing the software, including the app and server. NWP is helping fund the duo’s prototype, which would allow the students to use a working model to test in the bus system.
The engineers-in-training are both in the top 10% of their class. They’ve excelled in other engineering courses, such as Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Digital Electronics, as well as advanced high school courses, including AP Chemistry, AP Physics I and AP Calculus.
Throughout the past year, NWP has donated to projects in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to support local education.
To receive the latest news and updates about the Office of Environmental Management, submit your e-mail address.