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Samsung Names $1 Million STEM Contest Winners

Samsung Hope for Children has named the five winners of its Solve for Tomorrow contest. They will receive in total $1 million worth of technology from Samsung, DirecTV, Microsoft, and Adobe.

The competition, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, drew 1,500 applications from sixth- to 12th-grade classes. Of those, the top 25 were selected, and they were provided with Adobe software, a camcorder, and Samsung laptop to create a video showing "how science or math can help the environment in your community."

Twelve finalists and five grand-prize winners were selected. Four of the winners were selected by a panel of judges, and Schoharie High School was selected through online voting by the public.

The grand-prize winners will be honored at an awards celebration in Washington, DC April 18. They are:

Schoharie High School, Schoharie, NY, which will receive an assistance dog on top of its $100,000 technology award. Students researched sediment from local waterways to look for contamination following severe flooding.

Lawrence County High School, Moulton, AL, which studied the impact of feral hogs on a national forest. The group created a Wild Hog Blog to share techniques for trapping hogs and created an app to track hog sightings using GPS coordinates.

Jefferson Township Middle School, Oak Ridge, NJ, which is creating a smart phone app called Invase Erase to educate Lake Hopatcong residents about invasive species in the state's largest lake.

Desert Wind Middle School, Maricopa, AZ, which is studying air quality in the town that has seen a population explosion. The students built their own devices to monitor air quality and are looking to draw attention to the issue at the state and national level.

Davenport School of the Arts, Davenport, FL, which designed and created an outdoor learning environment, where parents, students, teachers, and the community could learn about sustainability. The outdoor learning environment includes a vegetable and hydroponics garden, a berry patch, a butterfly garden, and in-ground irrigation.

The winners received $70,000 upon becoming finalists, and will now receive an additional $30,000 to complete their projects.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.