Samsung Solve for Tomorrow National Winners Tackle Food Waste, Crowd Stampedes and Bus Driver Shortages
New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia schools awarded $100,000 each in technology in 12th annual $2 million STEM competition
After a two-year virtual hiatus resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced the three National Winners of the 12th annual $2 million* Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest during an in-person event at Samsung 837 in Manhattan. Students from across the country convened both in-person, virtually and in the metaverse via 837x to present how they used STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to address local issues and inspire change in their communities. Selected from 10 finalists, the National Winners will receive $100,000 in Samsung technology and classroom supplies.
Over the course of the school year, middle and high students have worked to develop sustainable projects using problem-based learning to address issues in their local community from climate change to public transportation and mobility. These innovations, developed by bright young minds, demonstrate how STEM learning can take an idea and transform a community, while empowering students to make a difference despite the adversities they may face.
“We are thankful to have the opportunity to recognize such a remarkable group of inspiring and innovative Solve for Tomorrow students in person after a two-year virtual hiatus,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “These students continue to tackle problems of national importance with extraordinary solutions. We look forward to seeing our Samsung Solve for Tomorrow students continue to make a difference in our world in the years to come.”
The three National Winners in the 12th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and their grand prize-winning STEM innovations are:
1. Princeton High School – Princeton, New Jersey
Food waste is the third-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and Princeton, NJ does not have any specialized municipal collection of organic waste. Therefore, most of the food that is not consumed within the community is thrown into the garbage and ultimately winds up in landfills. To combat the overproduction of greenhouse gas emissions in landfills, the students utilized technology, and the black soldier fly to bioremediate food waste into usable products such as protein for animal feed and as a substitute for palm oil in cosmetics like soap.
Princeton High School was also named the Samsung Employee Choice Award Winner, winning an additional $10,000, bringing their total to $110,000 in technology for their school.
View Princeton High School’s project video here: https://youtu.be/VmYo5etiWII
2. Porter High School – Porter, Texas
To help get students to safety and prevent crowd panic caused by an active shooter, or the threat of one, students from Porter High School developed an evacuation system to address crowd stampedes. First, a mesh network of microcontrollers will detect if there is an active shooter and relay that information. Second, if an evacuation is necessary, the microcontrollers will activate a color-coded system of lights and arrows located along the floor and walls of the hallways that will convey the most expedient and safest route out of the area to help reduce panic.
View Porter High School’s project video here: https://youtu.be/wcbbE-mirAA
3. Great Bridge High School – Chesapeake, Virginia
When faced with an unreliable public transportation system, students from Great Bridge High School developed AcceleRoute, a system to help bus drivers construct personalized and efficient routes determined by the students they are transporting on a given day. As the students board the bus, they scan a programmed card that connects to an app that will determine the most efficient route to transport all students to their homes.** The system increases efficiency and bus ridership while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Great Bridge High School was also named the Community Choice Award Winner, winning an additional $10,000 bringing their total to $110,000 in technology for their school.
View Great Bridge High School’s project vide here: https://youtu.be/hRYP3k1S8iM
New this year, Samsung partnered with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) for the first Solve for Tomorrow Sustainability Innovation award, furthering Samsung’s commitment to sustainability. This year, Central Falls High School from Central Falls, Rhode Island, was selected as the winner by a committee of judges for addressing environmental justice and redeveloping abandoned areas to increase urban greenery.. The school was awarded a $10,000 in energy efficient Samsung technology prize package of products to help bring their project idea to life.
“NAAEE is proud to collaborate with Samsung for the Solve for Tomorrow Contest to select a Sustainability Innovation Award Winner,” said Judy Braus, Executive Director NAAEE. “The students at Central Falls High School exemplified the thoughtful and community-focused innovation we need to create an equitable and sustainable future for all. It was inspirational to see how so many of the projects tackled environmental challenges and highlighted the power of teamwork, creative problem solving, and passion in creating positive community change.”
See related article: Samsung teams up with Patagonia to reduce microplastics
As part of Samsung’s guiding vision of ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People’, Solve for Tomorrow launched in 2010 to encourage innovative thinking, creative problem-solving and teamwork to address the most pressing issues impacting society. Today, the competition fosters critical thinking and creative problem solving, anchored in problem-based learning. For the past decade, Samsung has awarded $20 million in technology and classroom materials to more than 2,500 public schools in the United States.
*$2 million prize is based on an estimated retail value.
**The school is responsible for ensuring the proper handling and security of all data potentially shared and/or collected as part of their project. Samsung takes privacy very seriously and encourages all Semi-Finalists to consider how information that is part of their project is being handled.
Source: Samsung Electronics America, Inc.