Tulare Union High School named semi-finalist in $2m national STEM contest

Selected from a nationwide pool of applicants, Tulare Union High School in Tulare, California was named one of 75 Semi-Finalists in the 11th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a program that encourages 6th-12th grade students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Tulare Union High School teacher Eric York and his students are being recognized for their proposed project to create an artificial intelligence (AI) device that can be plugged into a car and sit on the dashboard in order to detect and alert the driver of road hazards, traffic objects and upcoming intersections.**

The Semi-Finalist schools were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning. Each Semi-Finalist school will receive $15,000 to be redeemed on DonorsChoose.org as well as a Samsung Galaxy Note20 to execute their project this school year, whether they are engaging in a virtual, in-person or hybrid teaching environment.

Teachers from the 75 Semi-Finalist schools will each record a video to showcase their project in hopes to advance through future phases of the contest to win additional prizes and educational opportunities.

“Students and teachers across the country, regardless of classroom format, are rising to the occasion to creatively use STEM to address some of the greatest issues impacting their generation, from social justice, to pandemic-related solutions,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “These students are facing unchartered challenges with stoic determination and using creative problem-solving skills to succeed. We are proud to unveil the schools in this year’s Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and look forward to seeing their proposed solutions and innovations come to life.”

In addition to receiving $15,000 to be redeemed on DonorsChoose.org and a Samsung Galaxy Note20, each Semi-Finalist school will record a video to showcase their project and has the potential to advance through future phases of the contest to win additional prizes and educational opportunities. The remaining phases of the competition include:

  • 10 National Finalist schools will be selected later this spring to participate in the virtual pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. For achieving National Finalist status, seven of these schools will be awarded $65,000 in technology and classroom materials while the remaining three will be named National Winners.
    • Public voting will also determine two Community Choice winners from the pool of National Finalists, who will be eligible to win an additional $15,000 in Samsung technology
  • Three National Winner schools will receive the grand prize of $130,000 in classroom technology and supplies for their achievement.

Samsung has increased the prize value for Semi-Finalist, National Finalist and National Winner schools***. This year, Samsung has also recognized 25 schools as Honorable Mention recipients for the strong promise their ideas showed. Each Honorable Mention school will receive a Samsung Galaxy Note20.

Aligned with Samsung’s guiding vision of ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People’, Solve for Tomorrow was created in 2010 to encourage innovative thinking, creative problem-solving and teamwork to address the most pressing issues impacting society. Today, the competition is anchored in problem-based learning, fostering critical thinking and creative problem solving. For the past decade, Samsung has awarded $18 million in technology and classroom materials to more than 2,500 public schools in the United States.

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