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Port Orange Observer Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 1 year ago

STEM competition winners suggest connecting drains to retention pond for Yorktowne flooding

Another group of students came up with a predictive model as a solution for car burglaries.
by: Nichole Osinski Community Editor

Throughout September, students across Volusia County worked to come up with real-world solutions related to science, technology, engineering and math for the second annual STEM Solutions by Students competition. 

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the winners of the competition were announced. Among the winners were students from Port Orange who came up with solutions for two city-related issues. 

The first question presented to students asked how to solve the flooding problem on the Horizon Elementary sidewalk off of Yorktowne Boulevard.

According to Port Orange Public Information Officer Christine Martindale, the city staff has receive the solution for the drainage issue. 

"The Yorktowne Blvd. drainage issue had many credible solutions presented by the students that city staff has either discussed previously or has sparked new discussion for a creative solution," Martindale wrote in an email. 

A solution for the Yorktowne flooding was the overall winner. Alex Deaton and Abby Santore of Atlantic High came up with the solution, which dealt with the storm water that does not drain in a timely manner. 

The students' solution was to expand selected gaps in the sidewalk pavement and place small drains in the spaces to lead out to the northeast side of the sidewalk where a pipe would lead to a second pipe that would end in a retention pond. The pipes would mitigate the water away from the pavement and into the pond. 

"From that sidewalk lies one single drain," Santore wrote in the final project. "That drain is placed at the entrance of the housing development and is very small and easily clogged."

According to the students' project report, they had realized that parts of the pavement turned into each other, which created a pocket for the water to pool and becoming the main reason for the flooding. 

Abby Santore and City Manager City Manager. Photo by Nichole Osinski

A predictive model for Port Orange car burglaries 

The second question came from the Port Orange Police Department and challenged students to come up with a solution to help prevent car burglaries using the sources already in place. 

One project, described by Amy Monahan, K-12 STEM Specialist​ for Volusia County, as an "amazing solution," involved creating a predictive model to determine the optimal zones for police to patrol. 

The solution was the result of a collaboration between Spruce Creek High students Abdullah Afridi, Julia Yu and Ruohan Wu. The model was made by calculating the probability of a crime occurring on a specific day in a specific time zone with that data first being sorted by time zone.

The students were able to come up with a table showing both the probability of crimes happening in different areas of the city and the probability of a crime happening on a certain day. They also developed a heat map of crime that police officers could use when looking for the best place to conduct unlocked vehicle checks. 

The students also analyzed data provided and were able to find when and where most of the Port Orange thefts took place. According to the students' report, the "thefts were the greatest during Saturday in patrol zone 40" from noon to 3 p.m. 


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