Students and Schools Applying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to Solve Local Problems
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest gives U.S. secondary public schools a chance to use STEM to help address problems affecting their students and communities. By isolating a problem and applying science to the problem, schools can enter to win a share of $2 million in technology products that would be used to help bring to life a STEM-based solution to target a local problem.
What problem exists for you and your students—and how can science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) help solve it? Answer those two questions in up to 100 words (each) to give you and your students a chance at a share of $2 million dollars' worth of technology from Samsung to support your and your students' vision of a STEM solution.
The Samsung SOLVE for Tomorrow education contest is open to public school teachers, grades 6-12, in U.S. states and Washington, D.C. There are four phases to the contest, with state finalists from phase 1 advancing to phase 2 and state winners from phase 2 moving on to phase 3. State winners each receive a minimum of $20,000 in technology for their school, including a Samsung camcorder and laptop that they then use to create a video showcasing their project or solution. State winners move on to national competition, and, in April, five national winners will be named. Each of the five national winners will receive a technology grant of $120,000.
Making Direct Impact with STEM
Hands-on STEM education brings science to life for students, but when the hands-on challenge to solve is one that directly affects the students or the local community, students have the opportunity to see how STEM can make a difference in the real world.
To enter the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, teachers need to brainstorm with students and be prepared to answer three questions (100 words or less each) as part of the online entry form:
- Describe an important issue in your school's community today.
- Explain how you could apply STEM to address the above issue.
- What is the biggest hurdle your students face that hinders their academic achievement?
If you make it through the first phase, you will begin working with your students to implement a solution, beginning with a lesson plan (phase 2) and a video (phase 3).
To get a sense of the kinds of projects that have won in the past, and to be inspired by what is possible when students and teachers work together to apply science, technology, engineering, and math, learn more about last year's winners:
- Students at Academy at Palumbo (PA) have been developing an algorithmic-overlay of local maps that assigns and takes into consideration safety ratings of each street to help students find the safest route to walk in their Philadelphia neighborhoods.
- Students at G.W. Carver Middle School (FL) are finding ways to scientifically assess the risk of Old Smokey, a non-operational garbage incinerator near the school.
- Students at Sunburst Jr. High (MT) are examining the problem of alkali that blows through their area.
- Students at Oliver Street School (NJ) are using Autodesk Inventor to research, design, and test a sewer guard to address the problem of garbage entering their local sewer system and waterways.
- Students at East Valley High School (WA) are working to find ways to take advantage of irrigation water to help provide efficient cooling and help reduce consumer electrical energy usage.
Could your school use a boost in technology? Are you looking for ways to excite your students about STEM education and show them that science matters in the real world?
The deadline for entry for phase 1 is October 31, 2014.
To view the complete official rules, please visit: https://www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/assets/pdfs/Samsung_Solve_for_Tomorrow_Official_Rules.pdf.
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