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300 State Finalists Shine in Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition, Nearing $100,000 Prize

12/5/2023

Today, Samsung Electronics America proudly announces the selection of 300 public middle and high schools from all 50 states across America as State Finalists in the esteemed 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) competition. Each State Finalist has secured a coveted $2,500 Samsung technology prize package, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards becoming one of three National Winners that each unlock $100,000 for their school. Overall, Samsung will award more than $2 million* in prizes to this year’s participating schools.

Students from Strawberry Crest Highschool sitting together at Samsung Solve for Tomorrow event

Strawberry Crest High School

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a nationwide competition designed to empower students in grades 6–12 to leverage the power of STEM to create innovative solutions addressing critical issues in their local communities. The competition engages U.S. Gen Z students to catalyze change by applying Problem-based Learning (PBL) principles, environmental stewardship, and entrepreneurship to address some of society’s most pressing challenges. It also promotes active, hands-on learning, making STEM more tangible and showcasing its real-world applications.

Four students from Bloomington High School South jumping up in front of a camera

Bloomington High School South

To view the full list of State Finalists, please visit Samsung.com/Solve. Notably, 50% of the State Finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition are Title 1 schools, underscoring the program’s commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunity. Reflecting Gen Z’s collective dedication to tackling pressing global challenges, 45% of the projects directly address issues related to the climate crisis, such as extreme weather like wildfires, hurricanes, and heat; microplastic pollution; air and water quality; the pollinator collapse; e-waste (electronic waste) risks; and light pollution. What’s more, this cohort of students are actively developing innovative solutions for a spectrum of other pressing societal issues, including accessibility, mental health matters like student anxiety and loneliness, food insecurity, cybersecurity, and aid for the unhoused and migrants.

Showcasing a forward-looking approach to problem-solving, 25% of the student STEM-based solutions embrace the use of emerging technologies, such as AI, 3D printing, and robotics. Moreover, a number of the entries exhibit promising elements of entrepreneurship, highlighting the students’ innovative thinking and potential for building impactful solutions that endure beyond the competition.

Eight students and a teacher from Santa Teresa High School posing and smiling in front of a camera

Santa Teresa High School

Ann Woo, Head of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America, noted: “A STEM education is a critical pathway to the evolving future of work. We celebrate the dedication, ingenuity, and creativity of the 300 State Finalists who are not only showcasing their STEM prowess but, more importantly, addressing local community issues with meaningful solutions. Their commitment to making a tangible impact speaks volumes about the transformative power of education and technology. And the drive of these young innovators to be creators and makers, as displayed in these entries, resonates with the findings of our recent Samsung/Morning Consult survey on what Gen Z is seeking for their futures.”

Upcoming Competition Phases

For the next phase of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, teachers must create a focused activity plan. This plan outlines how their students will execute their STEM project, including defining the problem, proposing a STEM-based solution, specifying project objectives, detailing activities to reach anticipated goals, and articulating the expected improvement within their local community resulting from the project’s successful implementation. The activity plans are due Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Following the submission of activity plans, judges will select State Winners from today’s announced State Finalists, with the winners set to be revealed in late January 2024.

Other upcoming competition phases include:

  • 50 State Winners will receive a Samsung Video Kit to assist in the development of their “STEM solution pitch video,” as well as $12,000 in Samsung technology
  • One of the 50 State Winner schools will be recognized as visionaries for driving sustainable change through STEM innovation with a Sustainability Innovation Award, and an additional $50,000 prize package that includes Samsung ENERGY STAR® technology
  • One State Winner will be selected for the new Rising Entrepreneurship Award, receiving a $25,000 prize package to foster the development of a scalable, sustainable venture that extend beyond the competition
  • 10 National Finalist Schools will participate in a live pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. Seven of these schools will be awarded $50,000 in Samsung technology and classroom supplies
  • A Community Choice Winner will also be determined through online voting by the general public, winning an additional $10,000 in prizes
  • An Employee Choice Winner will be selected by Samsung employees to receive $10,000 in prizes in addition to their National Finalist winnings
  • Judges will name 3 National Winners, each of whom earns a prize package worth $100,000

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow launched in 2010 as a way to boost interest, proficiency, and diversity in STEM. The education-based citizenship program is now a catalyst for a change in the perception of STEM, a crucial aspect in fostering a skilled 21st century workforce and informed citizens of the modern world. To date, Solve for Tomorrow has awarded $27 million in Samsung technology and classroom supplies to 3,500-plus public schools across the United States. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

*$2 million prize is based on an estimated retail value.

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