Ridgefield Park, N.J. - Twelve public schools from across the country -- Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- have won $70,000 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.
Four grand-prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges, and the fifth, the Community Choice winner, will be determined by public online voting. As the winner of special distinction, the Community Choice winner receives the additional prize of an assistance dog for their school.
The grand-prize winners will be announced in March and invited to a special awards ceremony in Washington D.C. with John Legend, the Grammy-award winning recording artist.
Online voting for the Community Choice winner is open until 11:59 p.m. EST, March 12 at
and the Samsung Facebook Solve tab at
"We are very excited about our finalists and congratulate them for the ingenuity and hard work they showed through their entries," said David Steel, executive VP of corporate strategy for Samsung Electronics North America. "Solve for Tomorrow empowers students to combine their creativity and knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math to find solutions to environmental issues in their communities. We hope that the challenge of this contest, together with the technology for winning schools, will help inspire the students of today to become the innovators of tomorrow.
More than 1,500 schools from all 50 states entered the contest that kicked off in August with an essay submission on how STEM can help the environment in their community. Twenty-five were picked to receive a video production kit containing $1,000 of technology -- a Samsung laptop, camcorder and Adobe software -- to compete as semi-finalists and in the video phase of the contest.
These 12 finalists now have a chance to win one of five grand-prizes valued at $100,000 from Samsung, Microsoft, the Adobe Foundation and DirecTV, and the finalists are: Davenport School of the Arts, Davenport, Fla.; Desert Wind Middle School, Maricopa, Ariz.; Groton High School, Groton, N.Y.; Indian Trails Middle School, Palm Coast, Fla.; Jackson Hole High School, Jackson, Wyo.; Jefferson Township Middle School, Oak Ridge, N.J.; Lawrence County High School, Moulton, Ala.; Mercer School, Mercer, Wisc.; Neah Bay Junior/Senior High School, Neah Bay, Wash.; Pleasant Hills Middle School, Pleasant Hills, Pa.;Schoharie High School, Schoharie, N.Y.; and Sutter Middle School, Folsom, Calif.
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, Samsung said. With the top 12 schools each receiving at least $70,000 of technology and the top five receiving at least $100,000 of technology, the total value of prizes awarded to participating schools total more than $1 million, the company noted.