Students get grant for Wi-Fi plan for city bus stops
GREENSBORO, Mar 17, 2013 (News & Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Two Grimsley High students hope to improve Greensboro's technological profile by installing Wi-Fi hotspots and charging stations at city bus stops.
Juniors Akhil Bondlela and Akash Akkiangadi will receive $1,000 to implement their idea after winning first place Saturday in a contest at Grimsley. There were eight proposals submitted in the contest.
"Wherever you go, people are trying to look up (things on) the Internet and do everything on the go," Bondlela said. "Why not have it downtown or everywhere "
A group of Grimsley students hosted the contest as part of a new Youth and Media Festival. About 200 students, parents and educators attended the event to learn how to better use digital and social media.
Bondlela and Akkiangadi plan to use the money to build a prototype platform that would be installed at bus stops around the city. The platform would allow people to connect to the Internet, charge their digital devices, and view a three-dimensional map of places to visit in Greensboro.
Two other students from Grimsley and Weaver Academy won smaller grants to create websites or mobile applications that allow students to look for service-learning opportunities in the community.
Grimsley senior Kassra Homaifar organized the event to foster dialogue among teens and their parents about the benefits and drawbacks of using digital media. Retired Chief District Court Judge Lawrence McSwain of Summerfield donated $2,000 for the contest prizes.
Homaifar said he was pleased at the turnout and the number of students who entered the contest.
"A lot of people think there is this generation gap with Internet use," Homaifar said. "I thought we brought everyone together. It was interesting what they had to say."
Participants learned about information overload, the history of music piracy, and common misconceptions about how teenagers use social media.
For example, young people do care about proper attribution and copyrights on material they use, said Meredith Beaton, a researcher at the Youth and Media Lab at Harvard University.
"Young people are grappling with these ideas," she said. "We are all trying to figure it out. The Internet is constantly changing."
Grimsley parent Wayman Mubaarak said he attended the event with his children because of his concerns about online privacy issues.
"This is a topic in my home all the time," he said. "My kids joke around and call me a dinosaur because they think my viewpoints are antiquated."
Contact Morgan Josey Glover at 373-7078, and follow @morganjglover on Twitter.
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