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Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy Named State Finalist for Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition

Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy Named State Finalist for Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition
NPS Communications

Congratulations to Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy on being named one of 300 state finalists in the 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. The team, led by Joe Giandurco and Colleen Brosnan, received a $2,500 prize package, and state winners will be announced in late January. 

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a national competition designed to empower middle and high school students to leverage the power of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to create innovative solutions addressing critical issues in their local communities. Students can catalyze change by applying Problem-Based Learning (PBL) principles, environmental stewardship, and entrepreneurship to address some of society's most pressing challenges.

Ponus students are working to design a new variation of street light. Students plan to research and design a street light that will harness both solar energy and storm runoff water for power. This invention seeks to improve the environment by removing many street lights from the electrical grid. This will in turn allow for more energy to become available to the community.

On Jan. 11, the team will submit an activity plan detailing how its proposed STEM solution will address their identified community issue.

Team members include Dylon Cumin, Anusha Mundra, Isabella Oliver, Alfredo Martinez, Nela Naranjo, Dorian Gonzalez, Kaleb Dietl, Marlon Modeste, Jacob Smalick, Viti Patel, Jacob Smalick, Juan Araque, Jacob Barstow and Noor Fatima.

Gen Zers participating in this year’s competition have boldly entered their game-changing ideas to tackle the climate crisis, accessibility, mental health matters like student anxiety and loneliness, food insecurity, cybersecurity, aid for the unhoused and migrants, and more!

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow as designed to boost interest, proficiency and diversity in STEM. STEM skills are key to a thriving workforce and new approaches in education are vital. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of STEM jobs will grow 10.8%, a higher rate than non-STEM jobs (2.8%), yet national test scores among American schoolchildren in math (and reading) continue to show troubling declines.

Samsung will name 50 state winners who will receive a Samsung Video Kit to assist in the development of their “STEM solution pitch video,” as well as $12,000 in Samsung technology. 

One of the 50 state winners will be recognized as visionaries for driving sustainable change through STEM innovation with a Sustainability Innovation Award and receive an additional $50,000 prize package that includes Samsung ENERGY STAR® technology. Another state winner will be selected for the new Rising Entrepreneurship Award, receiving a $25,000 prize package to foster the development of a scalable, sustainable venture that extends beyond the competition.

Samsung will name 10 national finalist schools to participate in a live pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. Seven of these schools will be awarded $50,000 in Samsung technology and classroom supplies. A Community Choice Winner will also be determined through online voting by the general public, winning an additional $10,000 in prizes, and an Employee Choice Winner will be selected by Samsung employees to receive an additional $10,000 in prizes.

Judges will name 3 national winners, each of which will earn a prize package worth $100,000.

  • Ponus Ridge
  • Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy
  • STEM
  • Samsung