Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 20, 2019
Second annual Pioneer Prize announces winners
Ninth-graders Sam Bach of George Stevens Academy, left, and Millicent Fleming and Chloe Sheahan of John Bapst and GSA, hold up their winnings from the second annual Pioneer Prize software project contest for area high school students.
Pioneer Prize has announced the winners of its second annual software project contest for area high school students. This year’s prize will go to Sam Bach, 15, for his innovative security monitor, and Millicent Fleming, 14, and Chloe Sheahan, 15, for their coded quiz show game. According to a news release, the teams will be awarded a share of almost $5,000 in prize money.
A 9th grader at George Stevens Academy, Bach crafted a roving security monitor built on a Roomba. It was implemented using a custom integration of the vacuum, a Raspberry Pi computer, video capture and motion detection software. The judges were impressed by Bach’s ambitious proposal, his self-sufficiency in finding and utilizing resources around the web, and his ability to deliver on an impressive integration of knowhow and technology.
“These two teams embody the ambition of the annual Pioneer Prize, which seeks to inspire and offer opportunities to both advanced ‘techies’ and adventurous ‘newbies.’ Software-coding skills promise to expand the learning and earning opportunities for young people in our communities,” the release stated.
The Pioneer Prize has been established by members of the community to motivate and celebrate the remarkable capacity of our young people to forge new pathways of economic opportunity. By recognizing and rewarding their independent passions in the area of software, Pioneer Prize hopes to foster a growing local community of high-value skills.