AI assisted sorting for recycling. Biodegradable 3D printed mosquito traps. Here’s a look at how the next generation is tackling environmental issues.
Samsung’s annual Solve for Tomorrow competition empowers thousands of students across America to create innovative solutions that transform local communities. Since the start of the program, students have turned their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) talents towards solving environmental problems that they personally witness on a daily basis.
Here is a list of nine mind-blowing Solve for Tomorrow projects that focus on natural resources, climate change adaptation, circular economy, wildlife and more.
1. Detroit community app to report garbage in abandoned house lots
Southwest Detroit faces excessive amounts of trash. For example, used tires are left in open spaces and in unsecured and abandoned residential lots. These students have created an app called Green Warrior that tracks these sites and reports them to local community organizations leading the cleanup efforts.
Hope of the Detroit Academy, 2020-2021
2. AI Assisted Sorting for Recycling in North Carolina
It is estimated that 25% of recycling is contaminated with waste, making cross-contamination a huge problem for recycling centers across the country. These students created an application that uses image processing and machine learning algorithms to help people separate recyclable and non-recyclable materials.
North Carolina School of Science and Math, 2019-2020
3. Sensors that help California firefighters quickly assess the risk of forest fires
Last year in California alone, 6,200 fires swept through the Pacific coast, 2,300 buildings were destroyed and more than 100 people were killed. These students have created a low-cost sensor that can detect wind speed, humidity and temperature, indicating a possible fire hazard in a particular area, and quickly relaying that information to the local fire department.
Dougherty Valley High School, 2019-2020
4. Water Bowl Monitoring for Drought-Stricken Arizona Wildlife
The Southwestern United States experiences a sustained and worsening drought, and the water catchment tanks installed by the Arizona Department of Hunting and Fishing require tedious physical monitoring to ensure that wildlife gets the water it needs. These students designed a low cost sensor to monitor water levels in catchment reservoirs to reduce the time and costs associated with managing the wildlife water program.
Blue Ridge Junior High School, 2019-2020
5. Better insulation for mobile homes in Indiana
During the winter, many low-income people living in mobile homes often suffer from inadequate insulation. These students developed a portable, inexpensive, and easy-to-apply insulation solution for mobile home walls to provide better heat retention.
Center Grove High School, 2019-2020
6. Lead Test for New Jersey Drinking Water
In Belleville, NJ and in communities across the United States, high levels of lead in water are a serious problem. These students have designed an app to test for lead ions in water and make sure the water is safe to drink.
Belleville High School, 2019-2020
7. Biodegradable 3D printed mosquito traps in California
Southern California has seen an increase in the number of invasive species of aggressive mosquitoes known to carry incurable diseases. These students designed an affordable and eco-friendly mosquito trap using a 3D printed design with biodegradable materials. They also created an app that encourages the community to maintain their traps and report mosquito activity.
Los Altos High School, 2018-2019
8. Filtering manganese from the Maine water supply
A large amount of manganese has appeared in local drinking water in North Berwick, Maine. These students created a water filtration system that uses a chemical reaction of sodium carbonate and sulfur sulfate to turn manganese into solid particles that can then be easily filtered.
Noble High School, 2017-2018
9. Microplastics Filtration Systems for Washing Machines in Nebraska
It is estimated that 20,000 microplastics can pass through a household washing machine at any one time, producing heavily polluted gray water that flows into community water sources. These students developed a filtration system that can be attached and used with any washing machine or other sources of gray water coming out of a home such as sinks, showers, and dishwashers. Using 3D printing, the students built a three-stage filtration to “catch” all plastics of different sizes while smoothing out obstructions, helping to clean and purify the water before it ran out. flows to the local water supply.
Gering High School, 2017-2018