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Paul Duke STEM student Teams Up with KSU & Curiosity Lab to Advance V2X Technology

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KSU Research Assistant Professor Billy Kihei (far right) prepares to test V2X technology at Curiosity Lab with local high school and KSU students, including Paul Duke STEM senior Jordan McEntyre (far left)

Last year, Curiosity Lab and Kennesaw State University (KSU) entered a strategic partnership to advance research in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology applications. Led by KSU assistant professor of computer engineering Billy Kihei, the first collaboration focused on open-source Dedicated Short-Range Communications Units (DSRC).

Nicknamed the “Owl Box,” these DSRC units can track data such as how fast vehicles are moving, roadway specifications, GPS data and much more, creating opportunities for startups, entrepreneurs, and municipalities/road authorities to test and explore emerging V2X technologies.

KSU selected Curiosity Lab as one of its primary test locations for the Owl Boxes due to the Lab’s autonomous vehicle test track and commitment to supporting and facilitating innovation.

While Dr. Kihei’s research team has primarily included KSU undergraduate students over the last year, Curiosity Lab also connected a Paul Duke STEM High School student with Dr. Kihei. Paul Duke is Curiosity Lab’s STEM partner and is just a mile from the living lab.

Last year, at the start of her senior year of high school, Jordan McEntyre started working with Dr.Kihei. Jordan was taking an AP Research course and reached out to Curiosity Lab to find a research mentor as part of her coursework. Curiosity Lab connected her with Dr. Kihei, who served as her mentor in V2X technology.

Dr. Kihei sent Jordan an Owl Box to configure and tasked her with writing applications for the Owl Box to solve a specific problem. After months of development, Dr. Kihei and Jordan then took her Owl Box on the road at Curiosity Lab to test her applications in a real-world environment. 

“The Owl Boxes allowed me to work with open source technology and make a functioning product out of it, which is an extremely useful experience to have,” said Jordan. “Field testing at Curiosity Lab proved that my program works, but certain factors that came up while testing in this environment gave me ideas to improve my program. I would love to implement those ideas and test it again in a real-world environment.”

Dr. Kihei applauded Jordan’s work as she learned the values of patience and planning.

“It was a long and challenging process for Jordan working with open source technology, but it is important for researchers to be exposed to and work through those types of real-world problems,” said Dr. Kihei. “For example, while a researcher may have an idea to implement, your technology doesn’t always play nicely. It’s not always straightforward.”

Dr. Kihei and Jordan plan to publish a paper together soon, and Jordan plans to start at KSU this year as a computer science major, concentrating on cybersecurity and software development.

“It is crucial for today’s technology leaders to support the education of the next generation of innovators,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab. “Through our partnership with Paul Duke, Curiosity Lab is committed to providing Peachtree Corners’ youth with exposure to real world testing of intelligent mobility and smart city technology.”

Source: Curiosity Corner Newsletter

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Community

UPCCA Extends Deadline For Annual Scholarship

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UPCCA Scholarship

The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association is back this year with its annual Community Service Scholarship. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to make changes in the process, the organization is back to the original award of $1,000 each for two high school seniors who reside in Peachtree Corners and have made the commitment to volunteer outside of school hours during their high school years. 

“Every year, the committee weighs several factors, community service, extracurricular activities and things like that,” said UPPCA President Matt Lombardi. “We’re looking for students who personify our community values.”

Last year’s winner used the scholarship money to purchase a 3D printer and made mask clips that helped secure masks that had to be worn during the nationwide mask mandate, said Lombari adding that it’s that kind of selfless act that makes the awardee stand out.

“And it doesn’t matter what kind of secondary education they’re pursuing,” said Lombardi. “It can be a four-year university, a vocational school or whatever works for the recipient.”

The deadline this year has been extended to May 31 to give students an opportunity to “get back to normal.”

Last year UPCCA awarded three $1,000 scholarships and has toyed with the idea of increasing the amount.

“But we don’t want to be competitive with other non-profits in the area,” said Lombardi.

While the pandemic made it necessary for the award presentation to be held outdoors, this year it will be a Peachtree Corners Baptist Church.

Any high school senior who resides in the 30092 ZIP code is eligible to apply, regardless of where they attend school.

Scholarship application process:

• Complete the Online Scholarship Application. The online application includes areas to upload your documentation for the essay and service activities. 

• Write and/or video a 300-word essay about community service work that had the greatest influence and why. 

• Include a listing of all community service activities participated in while in high school.

The winners will be chosen strictly on their participation in community service.

For more information: In order to qualify for one of the two UPCCA scholarship, you must live within Peachtree Corners and/or be a member of the UPCCA. Click here for information on becoming a member of UPCCA  or contact UPCCA President Matt Lombardi at 770-548-2989.

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Community

Chabad Enrichment Center In Peachtree Corners Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony

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A special groundbreaking ceremony for the new Chabad Enrichment Center will be held at the corner of Spalding Drive and Crooked Creek Drive this weekend in Peachtree Corners.

“For the past two decades, the Chabad Enrichment Center has provided a safe place to support, uplift and connect people in the community,” Rabbi Yossi Lerman said. “We are delighted to break ground for the building of our new Center, in the heart of Peachtree Corners.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22. Local dignitaries, community leaders and the general public are invited to honor this special event.

The Chabad Enrichment Center of Gwinnett is committed to providing every Jew the opportunity to celebrate joy through programs that nurture connection, belonging, cultural fulfillment and spiritual growth.

For more information contact Rabbi Yossi Lerman at (678) 595-0196 or rabbi@chabadofgwinnett.org. Or go to www.chabadofgwinnett.org.

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Community

NHS Foundation Gala Raises Over $114k Toward Student Success

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Hall of Fame inductee Corey Richardson with his family.
Hall of Fame inductee Corey Richardson with his family. (photos courtesy of NHS Foundation of Excellence)

Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence held its annual gala fundraiser recently at Atlanta Tech Park. With over 300 guests in attendance, it was truly a community-wide event. The night was filled with delicious food and drinks and more importantly great fundraising for Norcross High School. Over $114,000 was raised which will be used to ensure the success of all students at NHS!

56 families accepted the Foundation Challenge this year, and eight local businesses sponsored the gala. Foundation Challengers included parents and grandparents of current students, alumni and community members who know that great schools and great communities go hand in hand.

Since 2001, foundation supporters have raised over $2.6 million. These funds go directly back to the school to fund programs that support excellence in arts, academics and athletics.

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