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Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit president Richard Davey and senior vice president of Subways Demetrius Crichlow visited Liberty Avenue Middle School in Brooklyn to surprise four seventh-grade students who have been selected as one of 10 state finalists in the 13th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition for their idea focused on subway safety.
The finalists are Sinthia Orni, Criss Roman Castellanos, Chris Santos Martinez, and Qi Xu, all 12 years old from East New York, Brooklyn.
The students advanced to the finals for their idea of placing new smart signs in subway stations that would allow commuters to report either a 911 emergency or request mental health assistance with two separate buttons: one would connect to the police and the other button would connect to mental health responders.
Their idea was inspired by old emergency service mini towers in their neighborhood with a red tab to alert FDNY and a blue tab to alert NYPD. The students began their assignment in October and submitted their idea in December. A state winner will be announced sometime between Feb. 15 and April 15.
During the visit by MTA leadership, the students engaged in an educational discussion, learned about the technology behind the existing Help Point systems, and received goodie bags, along with their other 11 classmates, filled with MTA-themed gifts and merchandise.
Additionally, as a celebratory gift, the finalists received a free one-year Family Admission membership to the New York Transit Museum, courtesy of the museum.