Five Grand Prize Winners Announced in the $2 Million SAMSUNG Solve for Tomorrow National Education Contest
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., April 9, 2015 – Samsung announced today the five grand prize winners in its nationwide Solve for Tomorrow contest, a competition to raise enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education among U.S. public school students. The five grand prize winners, listed below, were chosen from more than 3,100 schools from across the country. They will receive technology and other prizes from Samsung, Adobe, DIRECTV, Fortune, PBS TeacherLine, the National Environmental Education Foundation and Digital Promise.
Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy won the Community Choice Award with nearly 100,000 public online votes; Hudson’s Bay High School won the Samsung Employees Choice Award; and the other three winners were chosen by a panel of judges. Each of the five winning schools receive more than $138,000* in technology products such LED TVs, laptops and tablets.
“We congratulate these students who have invested their time and knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math to solve an issue affecting their community,” said Ann Woo, director of corporate citizenship at Samsung Electronics North America. “It’s wonderful to see these students grow as they see the impact they make in the real world through their projects – whether it be improving the quality of life for their physically challenged classmates or helping under-served families grow their own food. We are very proud to spark student interest in STEM and the resulting improvements in their communities and hope it will serve as inspiration for even greater accomplishments in the future.”
All five winners will be honored in a special Washington, D.C. ceremony on April 29. More than 3,100 schools from every state across the country entered the contest in August with an essay response on how STEM can help their community. Five schools from each state plus D.C. – a total of 255 schools -were selected as State Finalists and received Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
This group moved onto the next phase of the contest where 51 State Winners were selected to receive a camera, laptop, and Adobe Premier Elements software to create videos to compete in the video phase of the contest that answered the challenge: Show how STEM can improve your community. Then 15 National Finalists were selected to present their projects in person to a live panel of judges at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City in March and their performance was part of the consideration in selecting the five National Winners. The prize package for the National Finalists includes a special service plan with a dedicated school support contact, on-site product training, online support, and an extended warranty plan.
In addition to the five National Winners, three schools from the State Winners pool were honored as recipients of three offshoot prizes with a specific focus.
- Digital Promise named Frankie Woods McCullough Academy in Gary, Indiana, as the winner of the Civic Engagement Prize which was developed to recognize students who identified a problem that affected the whole community, engaged community members in developing a solution, and shared results back with the community. The school receives a $25,000* technology grant. Their project video can be seen here https://youtu.be/gBwPcMKYOO0?list=PLyUqcFqvV1uwSoy-F9kZ1w3U-KFrboYmR.
“It was truly a challenge to choose one school as the winner for this prize,” said Jim Beeler, chief learning officer at Digital Promise. “So many of the videos are a testament to the potential for school to be an empowering experience, where students work not just for a grade but to make a difference.”
- The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) named Downtown College Prep in San Jose, California, as the winner of the Environmental Sustainability Innovation Award which was developed to recognize students who identify real environmental issues, develop a local solution and put their plan into action. The school receives a $25,000* technology grant.
“We believe in the importance of introducing students to environmental topics and connecting them to STEM learning,” said Carol Watson, senior vice president of programs at NEEF. “By doing so, we hope to help foster a generation that can solve 21st century environmental challenges.”
- DIRECTV named Ashley Ridge High School in Charleston, South Carolina, as the winner of the DIRECTV Math Makes-it-Work prize which was developed to recognize students who demonstrated the fundamental role that math played in their efforts to solve a problem in their local community. The school receives a $25,000 cash grant and the teacher who guided the student project will receive a year of free DIRECTV at home. Their project video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWISfoHiyl0&feature=youtu.be.
“Math was critical in the development of all the projects submitted to this year’s Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest,” said Tina Morefield, director of corporate citizenship at DIRECTV, “but our judges were particularly impressed with this project that clearly expressed creative use of math in reaching their solution.”
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest was created in 2010 to encourage innovation while addressing the technology gap in classrooms across the country. The competition is a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow initiative which aims to engage students nationwide in active, hands-on STEM learning. In support of that mission, lesson plans created by teachers who were past participants of the Solve for Tomorrow Contest are now available to educators everywhere at samsung.com/solve. Those plans offer creative and engaging ways to help students learn valuable STEM skills while applying them to address real-world issues in communities across the United States.
*Estimated Retail Value
About Samsung Electronics North America
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