Presented with an opportunity to make a difference, the Harlingen High School South Skeeterbots got to work and came up with a mosquito-fighting drone proposal to present in the National Ford STEM High School Community Challenge.
The team placed third in the competition and won a $5,000 grant to pursue their innovative idea, which included updating current fumigating procedures in order to overcome the high mosquito population in the Harlingen Community.
With a tight deadline to meet, the team worked diligently between school and extracurricular activities to develop their idea.
“Our students put in long hours on compiling their data, and thinking truly outside of the box on this one,” Engineering teacher and Robotics club sponsor Alejandro Mendez said. “They thought of all the problems we could encounter with the use of the drones, and what could be done to overcome them.”
Their proposal included pre-programming insecticide-spraying drones that would replace current fumigating procedures where operators must drive late hours and come in direct contact with dangerous chemicals. They planned to work closely with the Harlingen Engineering Department in order to best use the drones for the betterment of the community.
The Skeeterbot’s explain the full idea, step-by-step, in their submission video #FORDSTEMChallenge Harlingen High School South Drone Skeeterbots.
“Initiatives like the Ford STEM High School Community Challenge inspire students to think creatively and apply innovative solutions to real world problems,” said Superintendent, Dr. Cavazos. “We congratulate the Harlingen South Skeeterbots team for doing a fantastic job and for being recognized in this nationwide contest. I am super proud of our young engineers and look forward to seeing their invention come to life.”
Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) teamed up with the Ford Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) program to award $50,000 in grants to creative high school students who are using their STEAM skills to advance sustainable communities and make people’s lives better.