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Green Magnet Academy students working to help food deserts statewide

Students over at Green Magnet are reaching for the stars with their ideas on how to combat food insecurity.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee and much of the country is filled with neighborhoods considered food deserts. So the state decided to challenge students to come up with solutions.

Kemonte is one of several students at Green Magnet Academy coming up with some pretty big ideas.

"Me and my partner, she could not be here, we came up with a solar powered helicopter so we can get to places faster and we don't need to use gas," Payne said. 

Kemonte's idea is to use the solar powered helicopter to deliver food to communities in need and he is pretty proud of it.

"It's great," he said. 

But there is one thing he said is missing.

"The front part of the window they cannot see, like ever," he said. 

Sadayah Key has a big idea, too.

"I made a boat," she said. 

But not just any boat.

"A solar power boat and it was gonna run on the Tennessee River," she said. 

Her boat would deliver food to families along the river, but without leaving a print on the environment.

"We decided to use solar power and water," she said. 

Many of the students decided to use solar energy to power their ideas, like Tritez Mclapin. 

"A solar paneled car so we can cut the cost of transportation," he said. 

Dansten Nichols took a different turn with his, he built a box robots could pick up.

"It can transport food form our green house at our school to people," he said. 

But not all of the projects move. Sloan Frix and Marley Fields made a vending machine but cooler.

"We made a vending machine and it's completely solar powered," Fields said. 

Jemeriya Vinson's project takes you back up into the air. It is basically a drone that can deliver food.

"We put tin foil in it, so it can kinda be like a refrigerator," she said. 

Jemeriya and her classmates believe this work is bigger than just a science project. It's about making sure communities like theirs get the resources they need to be great.

Students at Green Magnet will head to UT next month to present their ideas. The top projects will go on to compete across the state.