RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – March 1, 2018 – Today, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced the 10 national finalists in the 8th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a nationwide competition that challenges students in grades 6-12 to creatively use STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills to address real-world issues and inspire change in their local communities. The 10 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest will receive a minimum of $50,000* in Samsung technology for their school and a trip to the final pitch event in New York City.

This year, students have chosen to focus on issues commonly found in their local communities that also represent nationally relevant needs. The themes of kindness and empathy, health and safety, and environmental solutions led the winning ideas for the finalists, including an app-based outdoor home fire extinguishing sprinkler system to contain wildfires and a device that allows first responders to safely collect hazardous needles left behind by opioid and other drug users. These student inventions show how STEAM learning can take a simple idea to the next level, empowering students to reach a new potential and make a difference.

“Our goal each year is to inspire a new set of students to go beyond what they thought was possible, what they thought they were capable of creating,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Electronics America. “These national finalists represent hundreds of students and teachers who have worked determinedly to change the reality of their community as they see it. We are so excited for these ten national finalist schools and the journey that lies for them ahead.”

Next, the national finalists will compete before a panel of judges in New York City and three national winners will be named, each receiving a $150,000* Samsung technology grant for their school.

Based on online public voting, a Community Choice winner will also receive an additional $20,000* in Samsung technology for their school. Anyone throughout the country can vote for their favorite school and project. To participate, simply view the videos on the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow website, then cast a vote on the website between 9:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 1, 2018 and 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, April 2, 2018.

As a new addition to the contest this year, Samsung employees from senior engineers to app developers are volunteering as project mentors and have offered their expertise to all of the 51 state winners. Mentors have committed to host informative webinars, Q&A sessions, one-on-one video-conference conversations and more to help encourage broader thinking and expand on prototype possibilities.

This year’s 10 national finalists are:

SchoolCity, StateSTEAM Project & Video
Ashland Middle SchoolAshland, KYCreated a device that allows first responders to safely collect hazardous needles left behind by opioid and other drug users
Cavallini Middle SchoolUpper Saddle River, NJDeveloped software and sensors for football helmets to quickly and more accurately identify potential concussions
Clear Creek Middle SchoolGresham, ORDeveloped a rooftop hatch with an integrated SOS alert that allows residents to safely escape through the attic and signal rescuers during hurricane floods
Gering High SchoolGering, NECreated a filtration system for home appliances to help purify the community water supply that is polluted with microplastics
Kent Career Tech CenterGrand Rapids, MICreated a virtual reality app that empowers educators and families to help students with Autism develop classroom social skills
Lee County Middle School Leesburg, GADeveloped a device that notifies authorities when a farming tractor rolls over to ensure a timely emergency response to help the farmer in need
Noble High SchoolNorth Berwick, MEDeveloped a water filtration system that will remove elevated levels of manganese found in the local water supply
Omro High SchoolOmro, WIConstructed an energy-efficient window shade to heat and cool their school which lacks an AC system
Santiago High SchoolCorona, CAConstructed an app-based outdoor home fire extinguishing sprinkler system to contain wildfires and help save lives and homes
Thomas Jefferson Middle SchoolWinston-Salem, NCBuilt a water sensor and barrier system that deploys when water reaches unsafe levels to mitigate the effects of flooding

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest was created in 2010 to encourage innovation among young students while addressing the technology gap in classrooms across the country. Since 2001, Samsung has provided more than $60 million to more than 1,200 public schools and community organizations in the United States through its many citizenship initiatives.

To learn more, please visit www.samsung.com/solve or follow the contest on Instagram @SolveForTomorrow. 

*Estimated Retail Value


Brenna Eller
Samsung Electronics America

Megan Carroll
Allison+Partners for Samsung