Sixth-Graders Win $110,000 for Holly Grove Middle School

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a national contest
Fyi Edu Courtesywcpss
Photo courtesy of WCPSS
A team of Holly Grove Middle School sixth-graders created a sign for school bus stops to help prevent the illegal passing of buses.

A team of sixth-graders from Holly Grove Middle School in Holly Springs won a national grand prize in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, earning $110,000 in technology and classroom supplies for their school.

Inspired by one of their classmates who was nearly hit by a car that was illegally passing a stopped school bus, they came up with the idea to create a school bus stop sign to be located at bus stops, featuring flashing lights to alert when a school bus approaches. It’s designed to improve student safety at bus stops by giving drivers advance notice of exactly when and where a bus will stop. 

When a bus is 400 feet from the bus stop, the lights will flash yellow. When the bus is 30 feet from the bus stop, the lights will flash red. Wake County Public School System is developing plans to put these signs up at the locations where the most bus stop violations occur. In North Carolina alone, there are approximately 300 illegal passes of school buses reported each day.

Students worked with North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers, Holly Springs town leaders, local law enforcement, WCPSS transportation administrators and technology professionals to research the issue, identify challenges, design and develop a prototype of their bus stop sign invention, and learn how to code an app to make it all work.

Their project was selected as one of three winners from more than 2,000 nationwide entries and was the Community Choice Winner for generating the most public votes. Learn more at


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