February 2, 2005 | By: Laura Skillman
RADCLIFF, Ky.

Teens from Fort Knox have strolled the sidewalks in this nearby town for the past few months stirring interest from residents and inside themselves about the community and technology.

The youth are members of the Fort Knox Technology Team and are collecting data on sidewalks on the north side of Radcliff.  They are using handheld global positioning satellite systems to map sidewalks and note areas that need repairs. The GPS systems were obtained from a grant through the National 4-H Program and the Environmental Systems Research Institute, said Arnita Furgason, program coordinator with the Devers Youth Center at Fort Knox.

“We wanted to find a project that we could map and our first thought was Fort Knox but due to legalities, we decided to go to the sister city which is the city ofRadcliff ,” Furgason said. “They suggested that they needed help mapping sidewalks in the northern part of the city. So we got together and they drew us a map. It’s comprised of four parts and we’ve just completed parts one and two.”

Furgason said while she was pretty technology oriented to begin with, she’s learned from the project as well.

“I’ve learned that it has more far-reaching capabilities than people might think,” she said.

The youths from Scott Middle School and Fort Knox High will present their findings and recommendations to the city in the coming weeks and two of the students will go to San Francisco to present the community service project at the ESRI conference in August.

“We are helping the city and it gives us volunteer hours,” said Ryessia Jones, a junior. “It makes me feel like I’ve actually gotten involved in my community and been a part of it. Being on

Fort Knox , we’re kind of sheltered and it gives us a chance to come off post and take a look at things. Also, it’s great exercise and I’m getting to know other teens too.”

Amanda Gillespie, a seventh grader, said they’ve been working on the project since October.

“It feels good to help people,” she said. “It lets me explore more about the community.”

Gillespie said she also finds the GPS technology interesting.

“It’s kind of cool knowing that we are sending stuff into space,” she said.

Johnathon Mullendore, an eighth-grader, said he enjoyed the nice afternoons walking around the community and helping out.

“The GPS is pretty cool,” he said. “I’d like to get one but my parents say it costs too much. There’s a lot of stuff you can do on this thing.”

Mullendore said he’d like to come back to the streets he’s walked in a year and see what improvements have been made to the sidewalks.

Contact: 

Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278

Contacts: Arnita Furgason, 502-624-1041