Downingtown High School West Students Invent Tweeting Flood Detector

Downingtown Students invent new flood detection device
"Kate Pelcin (left) and Kristina Griste work on the Aqua Tweeter, a flood-detection device they helped develop at Downingtown High School West."

An affinity for social media and a perennial parking lot nuisance could help keep Downingtown residents and businesses high and dry this year, thanks to a novel invention by a trio of Downingtown High School West students who are taking the brand new, cutting-edge Introduction to Engineering Design class.

Kate Pelcin, Kristina Griste and Andrew Kim, all students at Downingtown High School West, have crafted a prototype Aqua Tweeter that features a water level sensor and camera programmed to photograph and tweet rising floodwater alerts to a public information Twitter account, reported this week.

With the device still in development — and class still in session, interest is also rising rapidly.12.28.2014 Downingtown Area School District

“There are lots of locations throughout Downingtown where this could be useful for residents, for emergency services and for businesses,” Mayor Josh Maxwell said in the article.

In fact, Downingtown is Chester County’s most flood-ravaged community. The borough expects to test two Aqua Tweeters before school lets out in June — and request more if they work well.

The class project is part of the national college-prep engineering initiative Project Lead the Way, and its 40 students have received technical assistance from teacher Gavin Speirs and Bentley Systems Software Developer Michael Stratoti.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be an engineer, and they never had classes like this. … I knew I had to take it,” Pelcin said.

Read more about the project and students’ reaction to becoming inventors on here.


Top Photo via’s Meaghan Pogue, Staff Photographer

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