Michael Smith/Newsmakers

An idea for cutting back on the number of collisions between vehicles and large wildlife won four middle school students from Wheatland a spot as finalists in a nation-wide science challenge.

Wheatland Middle School eighth-graders, Mikenzi Loyd, Kaylee Bloom, Elizabeth Pino, Viviana Hollister, and their coach, Miken Harnish, are one of six finalist teams heading to the national finals of the Christopher Columbus Awards.

“It just happened that two of their moms had had accidents hitting wildlife and so that’s kind of what fueled their research.”

Miken Harnish is both science teacher and coach and she says their idea for a wildlife detection and warning system using infra-red light sensors, mirrors and a garage door opener won the support of the judges. Now the students and coach are off on an all-expense paid trip to Disney World in Florida, June 10th to 15th hoping for Gold and U.S. Savings Bonds.




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