Funding, Grants & Awards

5 Schools Win Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Grand Prize

Schools from California, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington have won the fifth annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, a national competition created in 2010 to encourage innovation while engaging students in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

Teachers from more than 3,100 schools across the United States applied to take part in the competition. Contest organizers selected five teachers from each state to submit a lesson plan describing how STEM could be applied to help their local community. Organizers then selected one winner from each state to receive a Samsung laptop and camcorder to create a video of their STEM solution, and those schools also received $20,000 in technology for their schools. The pool of contestants was further narrowed to 15 national finalists, each of which received $35,000 worth of technology for their schools, and their videos were placed online for voting. The five winners each received a technology grant worth $120,000 and were invited to attend an awards celebration in Washington, DC.

The grand prize winners are:

  • Downtown College Prep in San Jose, CA, for installing a gray water system to reduce water usage in single family homes given the state's drought crisis;
  • Nicholson Elementary School in Picayune, MS for building a robot to survey and prevent flooding issues due to storm drain obstructions;
  • Galena High School in Reno, NV, for using a 3D printer to design mobility equipment for students with special needs;
  • Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie, PA, for developing a vertical farming model to help community members grow their own healthy, fresh foods in the high-poverty urban area; and
  • Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, WA, for using mushrooms to improve recycling efforts and reduce waste removal spending.

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. The other three winners were chosen by a panel of judges.

Videos about each of the winning projects can be viewed on the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at

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