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Audenried Charter High School Students Display Vision of 'SEPTA of the Future'

YingYing Shang
SEPTA Youth Advisory Council

Students from Universal Audenried Charter High School recently submitted an unconventional art project to a SEPTA Youth Advisory Council high school art contest. Although original guidelines stipulated that projects consist only of posterboard as a medium, six students from Audenried Charter went above and beyond in decorating the outside of an actual out-of-service SEPTA bus. Their design, seen above, shows these students' vision of this year's art contest topic: SEPTA of the Future.

The finished art acts as a testament to the collaboration and creativity of teachers, students, and community. Six students from ninth to twelfth grade, advised by art teacher Terese Fields, spearheaded the project. The out-of-service SEPTA bus used as a canvas was a donation from SEPTA to Audenried's Transportation Technology Academy, formerly known as Diesel Academy, a curriculum that provides students with career skills in automotive, public transit and emerging hybrid technologies.

Fields, who first introduced the contest to the students, describes the concept as "an x-ray vision," showing all of the wiring and electrical work on the inside.

"Our world and technology is changing so rapidly," said Fields, "We wanted to depict the unseen beauty of the mechanics and electrical design that makes it work."

Freshman Jameer Thomas described the initial process of sanding the bus down as tedious but necessary in order to roughen up the surface for paint to adhere to. Classes at Diesel Academy, as part of their study of electrical work, replaced the bus engine, and ensured that the bus was in working condition.

The six students then volunteered to give up one period per day to design and paint their portion of the bus surface. Fields described the process as taking around two weeks.

Sophomore Asanti Waddy said that she had to make up all of her notes on her own free time from the biology classes she missed to work on the art contest submission.

"But we all had fun," said Waddy. The rest of the students agreed. Thomas added that the students wanted to help SEPTA improve and to offer their appreciation for SEPTA's collaboration.

"The finished product serves as an important part of Audenried's philosophy of project-based learning," said Fields. "Two departments collaborated to fix up the bus and create the design. The SEPTA bus will be part of our Diesel Academy for years to come."

Final Submission by Audenried students Synai Davis, Khydeem Gredic, Asanti Waddy, Bietha Ayers-Robinson, Jameer Thomas, Delandre Francis, and art teacher Terese Fields

A closer look at the bus.

Audenried students expressed their vision of SEPTA of the Future.

A look at the designs on the bus windows.

A picture of the group involved with the project.