A special thank you to FedEx. Kindergarten students at Baden Academy are part of a trial run of a new RFID tag system that displays, near the bus, transportation details we posted to the website. We did a trial run with our new Dragon Tags on our Kindergarten students and Success!! One young man heading to get on the bus was identified as scheduled for being picked up by a parent. High fives all around from the software engineers, students and staff involved in the project as the Kindergarten boy was escorted to the pickup lines.
We are still testing the new program just on kindergarten and found that some of the tags were tucked into the bags and didn’t get picked up by the scanner. The process of creating these tags and the systems for reading them took a combined effort of hundreds of hours, many of which were donated by FedEx professionals and involved students and staff at the school.
The project was the brain child of (now 6th grade) Owen Rossi-Keen, a research fellow in the media lab who dreamed of using technology to locate and track the kids in the school. FedEx invited Owen and several other students learning to program to visit their facilities and the team worked with us to evaluate our needs. They looked at transfer sites, at numbers, and at our technological abilities.
FedEx then dedicated the summer to building a custom database and obtaining some Alien scanner technology. RFID coding stickers were attached to beautiful dragon tags that were drawn by the daughter of FedEx Vice President Denise Sabolcik.
Engineers from FedEx carefully printed and affixed additional QR Codes to each of the tags, making it possible for staff with a secure password to access emergency information for the child’s family. The McDaniel family donated several hours on Sunday to carefully scan each tag and affix names to the tags. All was ready for the big test on Monday.
The incredible gift from FedEx has become a launching platform for a new programming initiative at the school.
The programming challenge has been picked up by another research fellow, Glorian McDaniel, who will be heading up an after school programming club for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. The club will learn more about SQL and PHP as they make the scanning system serve more and more needs at Baden Academy.
Thank you, FedEx and Owen!!! What a wonderful celebration of the unique community of Baden Academy and our commitment to safety, creativity, science and imagination.