Press Release: Students from Pittsburg High School and Ygnacio Valley High School Win the 2022 Bishop-Wisecarver Innovation Award

Winners demonstrated the highest level of innovation and creativity in designing an automated process for use in agriculture and packaging

Pittsburg, Calif. – March 8, 2023 – Bishop-Wisecarver, the trusted industrial automation company offering proven motion solutions that are expertly designed and delivered to perform, today announced that Luna Zarco from Pittsburg High School in the Pittsburg Unified School District has won the 2022 Bishop-Wisecarver Innovation Award for her automated design submission for the agriculture industry, while Maurice Straubhaar from Ygnacio Valley High School in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District took home the same award for his design targeting the packaging industry. Since its inception three years ago, this competition has provided local students with real world learning experiences that can help further their success in life and careers.

For the 2022 contest, Bishop-Wisecarver expanded the program to select two winners since students had the option of designing for either the agriculture or packaging industry. Each winner’s high school will receive a $1,000 award and the winners themselves will receive $250.

“Our future workforce resides right here in our East Bay community and our goal is to inspire, encourage and support students’ creativity and ingenuity through real-word learning experiences that show them not only what they can achieve in life, but also the impact they can have on the world,” said Pamela Kan, Bishop-Wisecarver President. “With this year’s design contest, I am once again in awe of the innovation and tenacity that comes from our local students, and I am proud that Bishop-Wisecarver can provide this opportunity to encourage their success.

About the Innovation Design Contest
The Bishop-Wisecarver Innovation Award has always focused on the importance and benefits of automation and is part of the company’s annual Manufacturing Day activities that kick off in October. To participate, students must submit a 60-second video that includes an overview of their idea and its main function and can include drawings as well.

Zarco’s design was a small, solar powered machine using x-ray sensors to go through smaller crop fields and determine if they are healthy or not. The goal is to save farmers time and energy, while also keeping consumers safe, by quickly determining the toxicity of their crops. Straubhaar’s packaging design was focused on small to medium online businesses that need to ship products but want to keep their rising costs of packaging at a minimum and be earth friendly by providing no material waste. His design provided a natural, chemical free, flame resistant and home compostable package material.

Innovation Award Winner
Luna Zarco
Pittsburg High School
Innovation Award Winner
Maurice Straubhaar
Ygnacio Valley High School

“Bishop-Wisecarver exemplifies the importance of local businesses supporting students by providing vital learning experiences outside the classroom,” said Joseph Alvarico, Engineering Pathway teacher from Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord and a 2023-24 Mt. Diablo Unified School District Teacher of the Year. “Providing students with the opportunity to take what they learn and apply it to real-world situations is an opportunity that can change the course of a student’s life. In fact, after three years of participating in this contest, we’ve added it to our yearly curriculum plans because we’ve seen first-hand the benefits it can provide to our students.”

“Between Bishop-Wisecarver’s Manufacturing Day events, the Innovation Award and its sponsorship of local FIRST robotics teams, we have been able to provide education and experiences to our students that would simply not have been possible without their financial support and mentorship,” said Elizabeth Traub, teacher at Pittsburg High School. “We are so proud to be a part of a community that gives back to its schools and local youth programs because it absolutely makes a difference in helping students see the possibilities they have right in front of them.”

About the Bishop-Wisecarver
Bishop-Wisecarver’s proven motion solutions are expertly designed and delivered to perform, enabling customers to solve their toughest industrial automation challenges. Leveraging 70 years of experience, the company has earned the reputation of providing unmatched quality, reliability, service and engineering support for every stage of a customer’s design cycle. Combining long-lasting performance with ease of installation, Bishop-Wisecarver products offer the lowest cost of ownership for a wide variety of applications ranging from Aerospace to Medical to X-Y-Z systems and more. No matter the application or extreme environmental conditions, Bishop-Wisecarver designs innovative solutions from concept to completion, from prototype to production, on time and on budget.