LAS VEGAS ( KLAS ) – Some wicked smart students from K.O. Knudson Middle School in Las Vegas are in the top 10 for a chance at a $100,000 engineering prize from Samsung to make what might sound like a crazy idea a reality.
6th and 7th graders in Steve Gaskill’s science class found a problem, as student Callie Pippins explains: “Bus stops get so hot that people often won’t sit on the benches because they are afraid they will get burned.”
The solution they came up with was not just right around the corner, it’s in the school’s back yard!
Callie says: “The bus stop by our school has steel benches, which feel very hot in the summer. So we researched alternative materials we could use to replace the steel. One material that stood out to us was lightweight concrete made from sunflower stalks. We already grow sunflowers in our school garden. Normally the old stalks just go in the trash. After learning about sunflower stalk concrete, we decided to recycle last year’s stalks. We shredded the stalks and used them to replace gravel in a standard concrete mix.”
But the kids didn’t stop there, taking their story to the Regional Transportation Commission.
Shout-out to 8th grader Ivy Feuerborn for making the video and to that well spoken 6th grader Callie Pippins. Getting to the final ten with other schools from around the country has already won the local kids $50,000. You can help them win it all by voting for them here.