April 28e, Samsung has practically gathered the 10 national finalists of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. Three students from each school had ten minutes to present their visionary approach to addressing challenges within their communities by applying STEM thinking, showcase their prototypes and participate in a quick question-and-answer session with a esteemed panel of judges.
Now in his 11e Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a 6 national yeare-12e Classroom competition in public schools that challenges young minds to create empathetic, concrete solutions to salient societal issues. Much like many initiatives during the pandemic, the 2020-2021 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition has become entirely remote. Samsung has scheduled engaging digital workshops alongside the competition for teachers and students, offering teacher-to-teacher mentoring panels, a team-building experience in a virtual escape room, and a Samsung PowerUp series covering the well-being and play, among other topics. And, for the first time ever, the Final Pitch virtual event was televised live and open to the public, including family, fellow educators and classmates, and members of the community.
Science has always been something I’ve been passionate about, but this competition really opened my eyes to the real world context and possibilities of STEM.
The 10 projects of the national finalists in this year’s competition boldly tackled some of the most critical social issues, including several issues related to COVID-19; social justice and accountability; school safety and violence prevention; hunger and food insecurity; urban sustainability; accessibility for the visually impaired; and mental well-being for the isolation of the elderly. To bring their projects to life, hundreds of students across the country worked tirelessly behind the scenes with their teachers, community leaders, Solve for Tomorrow alumni guides and Samsung employee mentors to build prototypes, learn to code, create mobile applications, develop efficient UX. designs, and beyond. Additionally, as these students completed their projects, they were also in the middle of a challenging school year, navigating virtual, hybrid, or in-person instruction.
“As the pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for college and high school learning, we are deeply moved and encouraged by the resilience and cutting edge creativity of the students and teachers who have chosen to compete – and compete BIG – in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition, “ said Ann Woo, senior director of corporate citizenship, Samsung Electronics America. “The national finalists have tackled head-on the issues we face as a society, and I am blown away by the forward-thinking solutions presented.”
The participating students and teachers, as well as the judges, shared their experiences so far in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition:
- Kayla, Tucker Middle School (Tucker, GA): “Science has always been something I’ve been passionate about, but this competition really opened my eyes to the real world context and possibilities of STEM.”
- Sahil, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy (Erie, PA): “I have never tried using STEM to solve a problem before. Since the start of the competition, my brain now automatically turns to STEM when I encounter a challenge. It allows me to think about different ways of approaching and solving it.
- Drake, Richland Two Institute of Innovation (Columbia, SC): “The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow project has meant everything to our school. Over the past few months we have put a lot of work into it and seeing the results has been truly amazing. We can also show new students what we have accomplished and inspire them to explore their STEM potential.
- Nathan Williams, Tucker Middle School (Tucker, GA): “Samsung Solve for Tomorrow has been amazing. This competition made me ask: “Why not us? Why can’t we fix this unresolved problem? And as we got further into the competition, we started to believe more in ourselves and the difference we can make.
- Myesha Wallace, Jackson Public Schools Career Development Center (Jackson, MI): “This year has been very difficult for my students. And seeing them win and go that far … It changes your life. And that’s the opportunity they don’t always have. We entered the competition to put more technology in all of our classrooms, not just our classroom. STEM will help ensure that these children can have a bright future.
The judges –
- Gary Xu, Vice President of Research at Samsung Research America: “I am impressed with how the students prepared for the pitch presentations and the projects they worked on. They have shown a great passion for solving incredibly difficult problems. Many of them have had the courage to tackle extremely complex social issues using technology. These young people are daring, fearless and innovative. They superbly represent the next generation and the hope of this country. “
- Janelle Lin, Senior Vice President of Business Development at DonorsChoose: “If these students are any indication of all American students, I am extremely impressed and hopeful. I can’t wait to see what they do when they start their careers. I can see that a lot of huge innovations and positive changes are coming from this one group of students. “
Each of the 10 national finalists has already received $ 65,000 * in Samsung technology and school supplies. Three grand prize winners will ultimately win $ 130,000 * each in Samsung technology and school supplies. And the general public will have the opportunity to elect two Community Choice winners from the pool of national finalists, who will receive $ 15,000 * for their school. Tune in on May 18e at 6:00 p.m. EDT to find out which of the 10 national finalists will become the winners of the 11e Samsung Solve for Tomorrow annual competition.
* Price is based on estimated retail value. | Not open to the general public: no purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to employees of eligible schools in the fifty (50) United States / DC aged twenty-one (21) years or older. To enter / official rules: visit www.Samsung.com/Solve to complete the application form. | The school is responsible for ensuring the proper handling and security of all data potentially shared and / or collected as part of their project. Samsung takes privacy very seriously and encourages all semi-finalists to think about how information that is part of their project is handled. | The school is responsible for ensuring the safety, security, bias and privacy related to artificial intelligence (AI) as part of their project. Samsung takes privacy very seriously and encourages all semi-finalists to consider all security precautions related to their projects throughout development.