U.S. Government Officials and Samsung Celebrate the Winners of the $2 Million Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest

Students and teachers from California, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington are honored in D.C. after winning a nationwide STEM education competition
May 1, 2015 10:15 AM ET

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Congressional leaders were among those who gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to celebrate the five grand prize winners of the 5th Annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest – a nationwide competition to raise enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education among U.S. public schools.   

Chosen from more than 3,100 applicants nationwide, winners from California, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington have spent the past several months using STEM to address issues impacting their communities. The students and teachers from each school were honored at a luncheon held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., providing the opportunity to meet, interact, and share their innovative projects with congressional leaders including former Senator John Sununu and former Governor Haley Barbour who shared their insights about STEM and its importance to the growth of our economy during the event.

“STEM plays a vital role in our economy,” said Senator Sununu. “The tools and technology we have today are creating new opportunities. Helping our students develop these analytical skills gives them the ability to expand their careers and provides the framework to fill the skills needed in our expanding technology economy. I hope our students go after what excites them and the rewards will come.”

Governor Barbour added that the U.S. must not only work harder, but smarter in today’s competitive global marketplace.

“By working smarter,” he said, “our workforce must be innovative, and innovation is often a direct result of a STEM-related field. STEM jobs are everywhere. The fact that Samsung is helping to prepare our children to hold those jobs is indispensable."

In addition to the honoring the schools, Samsung also recognized Senator Roger Wicker, Senator John Cornyn and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren as Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM Champions for making great strides in advocating for and advancing STEM education in K-12 schools.

“I’m honored to be part of this effort to drive a new found interest in STEM among our students,” said Senator Wicker. “Students in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest have demonstrated how STEM gives them the opportunity to identify problems and create real change. I’m very thankful for the recognition, but I’m especially proud of all of these students, including the national winner from my home state of Mississippi, Nicholson Elementary.”

“Today’s STEM students are the doctors, scientists and engineers of tomorrow,” said Senator Cornyn. “We need to spark their passion for STEM fields now, which is why programs like Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow competition are so important.”

“I’d like to congratulate today’s student winners whose inspiring projects are helping solve real issues affecting our world,” said Congresswoman Lofgren. "In addition to winning the grand prize, the National Environmental Education Foundation named Downtown College Prep as the winner of the Environmental Sustainability Innovation Award, which was developed to recognize students who identify real environmental issues, develop local solutions and put their plan into action. STEM plays a critical role in preparing America’s youth to become the innovators of tomorrow. I applaud Samsung for their work to advance STEM education nationwide, and I applaud the students here today who have worked so hard on their exciting and successful projects.”

The five National Winners and their projects are:

  • Downtown College Prep, San Jose, Calif. –Installing a gray water system to reduce water usage in single family homes given the state’s drought crisis
  • Nicholson Elementary School, Picayune, Miss. – Building a robot to survey and prevent flooding issues due to storm drain obstructions
  • Galena High School, Reno, Nev. – Using a 3D printer to design mobility equipment for students with special needs
  • Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, Erie, Pa. – Developing a vertical farming model to help community members grow their own healthy, fresh foods in the high-poverty urban area        
  • Hudson’s Bay High School, Vancouver, Wash. – 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; and the other three winners were chosen by a panel of judges. Each of the five winning schools receive more than $138,000* in technology and other prizes for their school.

Videos about each school’s project can be viewed here: http://www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/contest/#winners

“It’s humbling see how the students in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest are challenging themselves and learning how to apply STEM skills to solve real world problems,” said Joel Wiginton, vice president of government relations, Samsung Electronics America. “Their winning achievement started from a single idea to help their local community, which grew into a catalyst for change, fueled by their passion and enthusiasm for STEM learning and making a difference.”

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest was created in 2010 to encourage innovation while addressing the technology gap in classrooms across the country. The annual competition is a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow initiative which aims to engage students nationwide in active, hands-on STEM learning. In support of that mission, lesson plans created by teachers who were past participants of the Solve for Tomorrow Contest are now available to educators everywhere at www.samsung.com/solve. Those plans offer creative and engaging ways to help students learn valuable STEM skills while applying them to address real-world issues in communities across the United States.

B-roll and images from the awards luncheon and trip to D.C. can be downloaded here: [Click for the link]

* Estimated Retail Value

About Samsung Electronics North America 
Samsung Electronics North America (NAHQ), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is an arm of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The company markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung’s North American brand management including Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, Samsung is one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com. You can also Fan Samsung on www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA or follow Samsung via Twitter @SamsungTweets.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems and semiconductors. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Digital Health and Smart Home initiatives. We employ 307,000 people across 84 countries. To discover more, please visit our official website at www.samsung.com.


Theresa Cha
Samsung Electronics North America

Lindsay Hyman