The Academy at Palumbo is a public magnet school in Philadelphia with the majority of its pupils coming from poor neighborhoods. Half the students walk to school and, thanks to a combination of budget cuts and school closings, many of them must walk pretty long distances. There has been a history of muggers preying on both teachers and students, and the students wanted to do something about it.
After hearing of Samsung's contest for students to design the best ways to improve their communities, the Palumbo students created an app that helps users map out safer routes to and from school. The students not only helped to make their community safer, but they also won the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Award.
To create the app, the students asked fellow pupils about their walking routes, which resulted in an algorithm that determines the safest way to get to school on foot. The app will also be updated in real-time with local crime information released by police.
The students at the Academy of Palumbo are currently working with students at the University of Pennsylvania for the app, which is currently in conceptual form.