12.12.18 / Education

New Solve for Tomorrow Students Hard at Work

Dolly Bergen, a teacher at Santiago High School in Corona, California, mentors students designing an app-based fire suppression system for the 2017-2018 Solve For Tomorrow competition.

With the 2018-2019 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest in full swing, teachers and students across the country have rallied to become one of the 250 state finalist schools selected in the competition.

Thanks to this year’s partnership between funding platform DonorsChoose.org and Samsung, Solve for Tomorrow is set to empower even more teachers and students across the country to get funding for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classroom project.

Solve for Tomorrow challenges students in grades 6-12 to show how STEM can be applied to help improve their local communities by identifying and addressing an issue they face and working to solve it through classroom collaboration. Now the 250 state finalist teams are hard at work building out their proposed projects for tackling an important issue in their community and competing for a chance to become a state winner, each of which will win $20,000 in technology and supplies for their school.

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To date, the contest has inspired some seriously innovative project ideas from young students, guided by their teachers.

For example, Carl Albert Middle School students in Oklahoma City, OK, have proposed developing an app they intend will support students who experience bullying by giving them the tools to report bullying and recognize signs of bullying. Their app development class teacher, Tami Sanders, says the students will draw upon the knowledge learned in class to design mobile games (pictured below) to now answer the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow challenge.

Tami Sanders of Carl Albert Middle School in Oklahoma City, OK teaches a class for app development in which students learn coding skills to design mobile games or other software tools. This year, they’re answering the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow challenge with an app aimed at reducing bullying in their schools.

“I really believe that if we teach children to use technology as creators and not users, they’ll be better citizens and better prepared for the workforce,” said Sanders. “My desire is to have the students address bullying by creating an app that can help students to deal with it.” The app is aimed to help students report issues, provide positive solutions to students who are being bullied, and offer self-evaluation quizzes that would allow students to determine if they’re bullying other students in the school.

Over in Goddard, KS, Solve for Tomorrow applicants and engineering students at Goddard High School are using STEM to promote safety and communication for kids in foster care.

Teachers Cassie Banka and Jim Zimmer wrote, “With over 5,000 foster children in the state of Kansas, 900 of which are waiting for adoption,” students at Goddard High School wanted to find a way to use their STEM-skills to help vulnerable members of the population. “It’s come to our attention that sometimes children in foster care are unknowingly being sent to abusive families who don’t treat them right and they are often without a cell phone so they are not able to get help,” explained Banka. She and Zimmer will be guiding their team of students as they develop a STEM-based device to help these children in their community and across the United States.

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*If you’d like your school’s Solve for Tomorrow project to be featured on the Samsung U.S. Newsroom, post a picture of your project in development with the hashtag #SamsungSolve on Twitter and Instagram.
*Disclaimer: All projects mentioned are random and do not reflect any standing in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.
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