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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – PennDOT is inviting high school students to take part in their Innovations Challenge.

The competition is open to students in the ninth to 12th grade who want to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world problems in the transportation industry.

This year’s challenge focuses on the dangers that construction workers face in a work zone:

Every day, construction workers on Pennsylvania roadways face a dangerous threat in work zones. Despite increased enforcement efforts, work zone signage placed miles in advance, and smartphone alerts, drivers continue to commit traffic violations in work zones, which sometimes lead to crashes and other dangerous, life-threatening situations, or tragically someone being killed.

The challenge: Aside from laws and educational campaigns, what cost-effective, innovative solution can be developed in the next five to 10 years to get drivers to slow down in work zones?

Winners will be selected from each of PennDOT’s Engineering Districts. Those winners will then compete at a statewide level where one overall winner will be selected.

The final date for submissions is Jan. 25.

Up for grabs is a trophy and a $1,500 award.

To learn more about PennDOT’s Innovations Challenge, visit their website.