Students from two Fairfax County schools were tasked with a big challenge: Come up with a project that somehow makes our community better. They accepted that challenge and placed first in a national competition Friday.
A group of freshman from Thomas Jefferson High School can't even drive yet, but they hope to stop others from driving distracted. Using a Microsoft Kinect camera they coded software that helps track your eyes, making sure you keep them on the road.
"We really want to see it in every car,” Valerie Chen said.
Seventh-graders from Chantilly's Rocky Run Middle School got their idea watching the presidential debates last year.
"So we noticed that one of the problems was U.S. dependency on foreign oil and we thought that it'd be cool if we could have a solution for that," Divva Mereddy.
They decided to grow algae from which they extracted fuel.
"Where you can just put it into the current cars and gas stations and everything,” Divva said. “You don't have to change it in anyway."
Each team placed first in their age groups at the U.S. Army eCybermission, with each student winning $7,000 in savings bonds.
"The big wow for me, the takeaway for me, is the diversity and the reach that we get through this program,” U.S. Army Director of Basic Research Jeff Singleton said. “The ideas that all these kids generate."
Coming in first isn't good enough for these high achievers. They're working to make their ideas become part of our everyday lives.