STEM School Chattanooga InvenTeam

Chattanooga, TN
Detector of bicyclists in protected bike lane configurations

The STEM School Chattanooga InvenTeam invented a system to detect bicyclists in protected bike lanes and signal drivers of their presence. The flush-mounted ultrasonic detectors are mounted to curbs. The detectors triggers an overhead signal located near the standard traffic lights to warn drivers of a bicycle in their blind spot. Bicyclist count, direction of travel, and speed data are sent to the city of Chattanooga to understand traffic patterns, triangulate their data with existing 360-degree video, and improve safety for bicyclists and drivers.

Blog

April 14, 2017

4/14/17:

In addition to the attention we have been getting from sponsors, our InvenTeam does want to influence our Chattanooga community as well. One of our future opportunities to showcase our prototypes would be at the STEM Jubilee, which our high school hosts annually. The Jubilee will be April 30th, giving our team a few weeks to plan and create our booth.

April 14, 2017

4/11/17:

In relation to the technical portions of our invention, the past week has shown drastic improvements and progress. For one, we have completed our first prototype, which consists of an ultrasonic sensor connected to our bicycle signal, which will blink blue when triggered. Currently, the team is modifying the single prototype to make it more similar to a crosswalk signal, as well as making the symbol itself more universally understood.

April 14, 2017

4/8/17:

In the course of the past week, the InvenTeam has participated in a multitude of different events. To start off the week, we were featured on the radio! Hosted by Brad Giese, both Will Crutchfield and Alayna Baker were able to convey information about the InvenTeam, with the support of Dave Wilson, one of our team leaders, as well as Jennifer Crutchfield. Given 40 collective minutes of speaking time, they were able to explain the InvenTeam, our invention, as well as avenues to donate to our EurekaFest fund.

April 14, 2017

3/29/17:

After our community review in February, we were approached by Mr. John Van Winkle, a city traffic engineer in Chattanooga. He expressed interest in meeting with the InvenTeam and connecting us with what the city is looking for, giving a better opportunity for implementation after EurekaFest. This past week, he met with the InvenTeam along with a colleague and directed us towards a proposal to the Federal Highway Administration. Van Winkle has been a beneficial outlet to clarify and refine the details of our prototypes that would be necessary for patenting. It is so exciting that our invention could possibly be a reality in the streets of Chattanooga.

April 14, 2017

3/15/17:

As soon as a day after our technical review, our presentation was already paying dividends. Our team was invited to present to the Chattanooga Engineers Club on the 13th of March. We decided to send the girls of our team to go speak, who demonstrated our lit up signal, as well as the first prototype of our casing to the engineers. The presentation proved a success, with the Engineers Club donating $1,000 to our travel funds to MIT. Thank you to all to those who have supported us throughout our journey as an Inventeam!

April 14, 2017

2/29/17:

On February 27, our InvenTeam hosted our mid-grant technical review at the Edney Center. With approximately -- people in attendance, we received a helpful variety of feedback and support. With support from the community, we are confident in proceeding into implementation and patenting after EurekaFest. Details of our technical review were printed in our local newspaper, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which will posted in a link below. Important highlights from the review are numerous, including the approach of a city traffic engineer, who expressed interest in working with us throughout our prototyping process. Additionally, the entire InvenTeam was honored to be given individual titles of being a Distinguished Citizen, signed by Mayor Andy Berke. It is incredible to realize the impact we could make in our community, and we hope to make a revolutionary change to cities with bike safety.

April 14, 2017

12/21/16:

Recently, Tony Perry came to visit our team in Chattanooga! To start off the day, team members Alayna and Alyssa gave him a tour of STEM School to give background of who we are as a team. Afterwards, we ate at the local restaurant Urban Stack, giving each person an opportunity to speak with him personally. Once we were finished, we proceeded to go to the Edney Center, where we presented our invention and the progress we've made. It was an amazing opportunity to get feedback from Tony face-to-face, and we hope to exceed his expectations for our team.

April 14, 2017

11/20/16:

Not only does our team want to reach out to businesses for criticism and support, we want to inspire other students to pursue their interests. We participated in an event called "Career Crunch," which was directed towards eighth graders learning about possible career paths, as well as high schools to consider. Surrounded by over 25 businesses or schools, we gained lots of attention for the InvenTeam. Group members Alayna Baker, Alyssa Malo, and Sophia Burlaka took the time to walk around to several booths and pitch our invention. It was a great networking opportunity!

April 14, 2017

11/15/16:

On November 9th, our InvenTeam participated in the Spirit of Innovation Fair, located at our Chattanooga Convention Center. The room was filled with booths hosted by various local companies, including our local Volkswagen firm and EPB Fiber Optics. Although this is very early in our prototyping process, it gave a great opportunity to get the word out about our ideas, as well as receive professional opinions on how to improve.

April 6, 2017

In the past few months, the InvenTeam has made large strides in the technical pieces of our invention. We have created multiple prototypes which include an ultrasonic sensor and a video demonstrating a thermal sensor. This video compared the frequencies between a bike and a person walking through the sensor. However, the team decided not to consider the thermal sensor because it was not cost effective in long term production. Furthermore, there has been extensive research done on the benefits between using an ultrasonic sensor and an IR sensor, as well as what would best benefit the community.