5 Years, $8.5 Million in Classroom Technology & Supplies Delivered to Public Schools Across America
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow & DonorsChoose Celebrate Enduring Partnership in Support of STEM Education
The impactful partnership of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and DonorsChoose, the leading nonprofit for supporting preK–12 public schools, celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. This collaboration, centered around Samsung’s national Solve for Tomorrow science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition for public middle and high school students, has over five years delivered $8.5 million in Samsung technology and classroom supplies to nearly 500 schools participating in Solve for Tomorrow competitions.
Ann Woo, Samsung Electronics America’s Head of Corporate Citizenship, described the genesis of the relationship: “In the early ’20-teens, as Solve for Tomorrow and DonorsChoose both grew, each of us was separately searching for likeminded partners looking to engage with ‘handraiser’ educators and provide classrooms the tools they need to nurture students. From our network within the citizenship community, we knew that teachers on DonorsChoose understand the needs of a classroom better than many. And as the most trusted funding site for teachers, DonorsChoose was perfectly positioned with a white-glove customer experience capability and an established delivery infrastructure. DonorsChoose let us know how well the tech Samsung contributed matched teachers’ needs and would work best for both educators and students. So, in 2018, we explored partnership possibilities, and it’s been a match made in EDU-heaven ever since.”
DonorsChoose CEO Alix Guerrier, speaking in May with students, teachers, judges, and guests at the final round of the 2022-2023 Solve for Tomorrow competition in Washington, D.C., described how the Samsung partnership aligns with the DonorsChoose mission, “We’re working together to accomplish a shared goal by leaning into our strengths to ensure that teachers have the tools and resources they need to provide students in every community with the best possible education. We know from our regular communications with teachers that despite the challenges of their work, most teachers would want to remain in their jobs for the next ten years. Our job as an organization and as a broader society is to make their work sustainable, and Solve for Tomorrow provides exactly the kind of support teachers need to broaden student participation in STEM.”
Tabulating and tracking each school’s specific technology choices and arranging the delivery of the right gear to the right school, starting at the State Winners round of competition on up to our National Winners, is handled through a bespoke support system developed by DonorsChoose expressly for Solve for Tomorrow. The value that they contribute to the partnership was highlighted by the complexity of fulfilling winner prizes in Year 13 of the Solve for Tomorrow competition.
Three Year 13 National Winners, each received technology prize packages of $100,000: Brandywine High School (Wilmington, DE) for their low-cost assistive technology for the mobility challenged; Strawberry Crest High School (Dover, FL) for an app to prevent sports-related heat stroke; and Porter High School (Porter, TX) for a noninvasive beehive monitoring system to battle pollinator collapse. Seven other National Finalists were awarded $50,000 each. Our Community Choice Award of $10,000 went to Richmond Hill Middle School (Richmond, GA) for its monitor and companion app to reduce the threat of “night terrors” for PTSD sufferer and Brandywine added $10,000 to its winnings as the Samsung Employee Choice solution.
As the 14th annual Solve for Tomorrow competition kicks off, we’re adding to the celebration of our partnership by launching a new $25,000 prize, the Rising Entrepreneurship Award. Public school teachers can submit their entries now through Friday, October 27, 2023.
All told, the positive impact of the Solve for Tomorrow and DonorsChoose partnership for students, schools, and STEM teachers is reflected in feedback to the DonorsChoose customer experience team:
- I cannot begin to tell you how impactful this project has been on the learning in our building. Because of your generosity, we were able to outfit an engineering and design lab for our students. This lab includes 3D printers, large-format printers, Samsung Flip TV, and tons of materials to design, create, and make for their class and club. This donation also provided the propulsion needed for our school to invest in these technologies. Since this initial project was funded, we have also received other generous donations from local engineering firms and companies. They saw how serious we were about our program through the instruction and materials and decided they wanted to support this idea. Thank you for this initial investment – the impact has had a ripple effect on our community. – 2022-2023 State Winner
- The impact of the $50,000 in technology and equipment from the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition was tremendous for our school. With the funds, we were able to purchase new computer components to build brand new computers for our classrooms. This gave our students access to the latest technology and educational resources. We were also able to purchase robotics equipment to give our students the opportunity to learn coding and engineering skills. Finally, we purchased appliances for our family and consumer science class, so our students could learn about cooking, nutrition, and other household skills. The impact of the competition was far reaching and made a huge difference in our school. We are very grateful to Samsung for making this possible and for giving our students access to the latest technology and educational resources. – 2022-2023 National Finalist.
You can also take a deep dive into how one school, Great Bridge High School (Chesapeake VA) – a 2021-2022 National Winner, used their prize package to create a state-of-the-art “Collaboration Lab.”
Each year, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow welcomes thousands of competition entrants who work on their STEM solutions that tackle real-world problems throughout the school year, advancing through multiple levels of the competition. Across award categories, more than $2 million* in prize packages was distributed in 2023. Since Solve for Tomorrow’s inception in 2010, Samsung has donated $25 million in tech and classroom supplies to 3,500+ schools across every state in the U.S.