Leewood K-8 Center among finalists in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest

Fifteen public schools from across the country, including Kendall’s Leewood K-8 Center, have won $40,000 in technology as finalists in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest, a national competition to raise enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Three grand prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges; a fourth will be chosen by Samsung employees, and a fifth — the Community Choice Award winner — will be determined by public online voting. The grand prizewinners, who will be announced at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in March, are invited to a special awards ceremony on Apr. 17 in Washington, DC.

The students at Leewood K-8 Center created a short video submission on tackling water pollution in the Everglades by creating a sustainable garden project to supply naturally grown produce without pesticides containing harmful pollutants. The video can be seen online at www.tinyb.it/5052C1ED3E14.

Online voting for the Community Choice winner is open until 11:59 p.m. EST, Mar. 4, at www.samsung.com/solvefortomorrow and the Samsung Facebook Solve tab at www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA.

“We are very excited about our finalists and congratulate them for the creativity and hard work they showed through their entries,” said David Steel, executive vice president of corporate strategy of Samsung Electronics North America. “Solve for Tomorrow provides an opportunity for students and teachers to apply their creativity and knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math to real world environmental issues in their communities.

“We hope the challenge of this contest, together with the technology for winning schools, will help inspire the students of today to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

More than 1,600 schools across the country entered the contest that began in August 2012 with an essay response to how STEM can help the environment in their community. Seventy five classrooms — 25 from each of the following three categories: rural, suburban, urban — selected as semi-finalists received a Samsung camcorder, laptop, and Adobe editing software to create videos to compete in the video phase of the contest that answered the challenge: How can STEM help improve the environment in your community?

The 15 finalists now have a chance to win one of five grand prizes valued at $110,000 from Samsung, the Adobe Foundation, and DirecTV.

As part of Samsung Hope for Children, the company’s philanthropic initiative focusing on health, education, and sustainability, Solve for Tomorrow encourages teachers to engage students in STEM by raising enthusiasm for these subjects and addressing the technology gap in classrooms. With the top 15 schools each receiving at least $40,000 of technology and the top five receiving at least $110,000 of technology, the total value of prizes awarded to participating schools total more than $1 million.

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