As Schools Go Virtual, Samsung Transforms the Final Events in its $3 Million National STEM Competition
20 National Finalist Schools in the 10th Annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest will pitch their projects virtually to be named one of five Grand Prize Winners
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today it will host a Virtual Pitch Event for its 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a national competition that challenges students in grades 6-12 to use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to inspire change in their communities. Adapting to the current remote learning environment brought on by COVID-19, 20 National Finalist schools will now deliver virtual presentations before a panel of judges on May 27, 2020 for a chance to win $100,000* in technology and be named one of five National Winners.
Since the start of the academic school year, students nationwide have been working together to develop creative solutions to address some of the most pressing challenges in their local communities. From mental health to school safety, the 20 classrooms selected as National Finalists are addressing issues of national importance. A final Pitch Event was initially scheduled to take place in New York City in April. This virtual format will still provide a well-deserved platform where these tenacious teachers and students who have nimbly adapted to remote learning can share their ideas.
“We transformed the final part of our program from an in-person event to a virtual experience that would give these hardworking and resilient students a moment to shine in a different way, celebrating an important milestone and recognizing each student’s hard work throughout the entire school year,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “While the 10th annual celebration of the National Finalists and National Winners will look different than planned, the spirit of this program goes on, and Solve for Tomorrow will continue to give a voice to these young changemakers across the nation. We look forward to hearing from these inspiring students and teachers and virtually experiencing their creative, community-building STEM solutions.”
For the Virtual Pitch Event, the 20 National Finalists will present their visionary approach to tackling challenges within their communities by applying STEM thinking. Joined by their teacher, students from each school will have ten minutes to present their project, demonstrate their prototypes, and participate in the Q&A session with the panel of judges. In addition to problem-solving and creative thinking skills, the event will foster remote presentation skills students and teachers have begun to develop as they navigate this new virtual learning environment. Samsung is ensuring that all students and teachers who were slated to attend the in-person event will have the technology capabilities to participate in this remote experience.
“As we continue to adapt and adjust to distance learning, celebrating the hard work of students is more important than ever,” said Kevin Lay, 2018-19 National Winner teacher. “Competing in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Pitch Event was an unforgettable experience for me and my students, and I am thrilled that the efforts of this year’s National Finalists will be recognized in this new format.”
In celebration of the 10th anniversary, Samsung added an additional $1 million* to the prize pool and increased the number of National Winners from three to five. The five winners of the $100,000 grand prize will be announced following the Virtual Pitch Event. The Community Choice Winner – selected from the pool of National Finalists by the general public to receive an additional $10,000* in Samsung technology – will be also be unveiled following the event.
Since its inception, the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest has awarded $15 million in Samsung technology and classroom materials to more than 2,200 public schools in the United States.