Zapsters is a program unique to Crest View Elementary that encourages self-powered commuting by counting trips, tracking mileage, and awarding prizes.
What awards can students earn?
We try to get students excited about self-powered commuting with three types of awards:
Green Gear Awards. These are selected weekly and announced in the commuting segment of the next week’s CVTV. CVTV is a weekly 10-minute internal Crest View news video typically shown on Mondays. There is a “Little Gear” winner from K-2nd grade, and a “Big Gear” winner from 3rd-5th grade. Each day a student zaps is a chance to win that week’s prize. For example, if you zap two days that week then you’re twice as likely to win than if you zap one day. Duplicate zaps within a day are ignored. Each winner gets a certificate, a free scoop at Sweet Cow, and a small trinket (e.g. Zapsters flashlight, flyer, or mechanical pencil). Awards are put in teachers’ mailboxes early that week. To involve as many students as possible, winners are excluded from subsequent drawings that schoolyear.
Zap Buttons. To remove the element of luck, students are awarded buttons based on the total number of days they’ve zapped in the schoolyear. The thresholds are 25, 75, and 125 zaps. They can earn an additional three buttons by participating in Trip Tracker. Buttons are distributed a few times through the year, usually whenever we get Trip Tracker data from the district and bike to school events.
Bike to School Day Raffles. There are three bike to school events throughout the school year, and we typically run raffles in the fall and spring. A winner is selected randomly from each and every classroom for a small prize bag. In addition, any level of participation in Zapsters or Trip Tracker throughout the year enters a student into a “Grand Prize” drawing for each grade. Historically this adds a piece of Spirit Gear to the prize bag.
How does it work?
After a student is registered, they are given a Zapsters tag like the one shown here. Tags have an RFID sticker on branded cardstock which is then laminated. There is a box and antenna mounted to a pole by the bike racks that scans cards, rewarding students with an audible beep.
Unfortunately, zaps are not reported in real-time. Every hour or so, a communications board in the box powers up, connects to BVSD’s wifi, and reports a batch of zap and battery status data to rocv.org. Then notifications are sent to SMS or email recipients configured for that student.
Duplicate zaps are ignored within a 20-minute period, but zaps in the morning and afternoon will generate separate notifications. For the purposes of prizes (drawings and buttons), only the first zap per day matters.