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Designing their way to a parking lot

Ms.+Tracy%2C+Allie+McLaughlin%2C%0AWhitney%C2%A0Bouk%2C+Lauren+McLaughlin%2C+and+Journey+Davis%C2%A0celebrate+their+parking+lot+design+win+at+Ascend.
Ms. Tracy, Allie McLaughlin,
Whitney Bouk, Lauren McLaughlin, and Journey Davis celebrate their parking lot design win at Ascend.

Ms. Tracy, Allie McLaughlin, Whitney Bouk, Lauren McLaughlin, and Journey Davis celebrate their parking lot design win at Ascend.

Ms. Tracy, Allie McLaughlin, Whitney Bouk, Lauren McLaughlin, and Journey Davis celebrate their parking lot design win at Ascend.

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On Thursday, April 12, students at Gulf Breeze Middle School and other local schools participated in an event to design a parking lot for the Ascend Performance Materials Center. The event took place at the Ascend Performance Materials Center in Cantonment, Florida. At the end of the competition, GBMS’ Team: Star Car won with their exceptional parking lot design.

According to Ms. Erin Tracy, GBMS gifted teacher, “Ascend was seeking a new parking lot design to help keep the Pensacola nylon plant one of the safest facilities for employees and visitors. There had recently been an increase in hazard reporting for the parking lot near the administrative building. The proposal’s purpose was to evaluate all options to redesign the parking lot/traffic flow (auto and personnel) resulting in the lowest number of possible interactions or ‘touchpoints’ between foot traffic and automobiles.”

From Gulf Breeze Middle School three teams of four participated: 

Team: Star Car 

Whitney Bouk, Allie McLaughlin, Lauren McLaughlin, and Journey Davis 

Team: WACH Parking 

Olivia Ammon,  Hailey Ward, James Hu, and Rehan Chowdhury 

Team: Parallel 

Chandler Massey, Zachary Meaux, Kaitlin Murphy, and Avery Ardoin 

Other schools that participated were Simms Middle School, Avalon Middle School, and Jay High School. From a teacher’s perspective, Ms. Tracy thinks, “This event provided students with an exciting opportunity for connecting STEAM concepts with real world experiences.” Challenges tackled by the kids in the event were including green spaces, the proper number of handicapped/disabled parking spaces, adding an appropriate number of lights, signs, and speed bumps with the affect of changing the flow of traffic. 

From GBMS, 24 teams entered the contest originally, and out of the seven schools that participated in the final county-level contest, three of them were from GBMS. To be involved, students had to:  

-create a company (name, logo) 

-create a sketch/model of the design including dimensions, scale and materials needed 

-take photos of the design process 

-supply detailed data displaying the efficiency of the design 

-formulate a price proposal 

-put together a marketing plan for the finished design 

From planning to designing, the event helped kids take STEAM ideas and make them into a real-world solution. The judges were engineers from Ascend that helped the students. All in all, for the students the competition was eventful, especially with the 1st place win by Team: Star Car. 

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