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Gen Z Students Declare “This Is The Way” to Champion Accessibility, Preserve Endangered Indigenous Languages & Save the Planet

Three Schools Named National Winners in Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM Competition for Using AI, 3D Printing & Robotics to Address Community Challenges, Each Winning $100K in Prizes


Today, Samsung Electronics America named the three National Winners in the 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. The competition challenges public school students in grades 6-12 to apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to address pressing local issues and create positive change within their communities. The National Winners are Brandywine High School from Wilmington, DE; Hoover High School from Hoover, AL; and Princeton High School from Princeton, NJ, as announced by Samsung Electronics America President and CEO KS Choi at a celebration held at the Samsung DC office.

Every year, Solve for Tomorrow awards more than $2 million in Samsung technology and classroom supplies to participating public schools throughout the U.S. The National Winners, selected from the 10 National Finalists, each received a prize package worth $100,000, while the remaining seven National Finalists were awarded $50,000 packages. Four additional Solve for Tomorrow awards were presented to the Gen Z student teams.

Bipartisan Leaders Rally for STEM Education

Three members of Congress participated in the ceremony, championing the students’ community solutions, and displaying refreshing bipartisan support for STEM education: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-CA), and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE). These distinguished lawmakers were also honored with STEM Champion Awards from Samsung in recognition of their efforts to advance STEM pursuits in their states.

Panel Explores the Intersection of Technology, Accessibility & Inclusive Design

Expanding on the accessibility theme prevalent in some of the students’ STEM solutions, Samsung Electronics America CMO Allison Stransky hosted a discussion about inclusive design featuring distinguished guests Anna Johannes, U.S. Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Inclusive Design Strategist at Interbrand, and Rachel Sanford Nemeth, CTA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs. The session underscores Samsung’s belief that with approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide experiencing significant disabilities, the imperative for inclusive design has never been more crucial.

Students & Teachers Joined by Other Notable Guest Speakers & Judges

Joining Choi, the government officials, and the panelists were guest speakers Mark Lippert, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at Samsung Electronics North America; Alix Guerrier, CEO of DonorsChoosea longtime Samsung Solve for Tomorrow nonprofit partner; Ryan Harper, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House National Security Council; Meghan Conklin, Chief Sustainability Officer to Maryland Governor Wes Moore; Kevin O’Hanlon, Senior Director, Government Relations, Samsung Electronics America; and Rameen Rana, Investor, Samsung Next. Additionally, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition judges included Gene Irisari, Vice President, Public Affairs and Head of Semiconductor Policy, Samsung Electronics America; Dan Kaufman, Director, U.S. Program Policy and Communications, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Kevin Lay, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow-winning alum and Lead Physics Instructor, Allen D. Nease High School (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL); Sukhmani Mohta, Vice President, Chief Marketing and Partnerships Officer, Display, Samsung Electronics America; and Rupa Shah, Board Member, App Inventor Foundation.


Stillwater Middle School, 2023-2024 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Community Choice Winner

“Samsung Solve for Tomorrow provides a unique window into the issues that concern Gen Z, as well as the empathy, dedication, and sheer brilliance they bring to addressing them,” said Ann Woo, Head of Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Electronics America. “I know our judges faced tough choices in picking just three of ten extraordinary solutions to community issues. While the National Winners’ innovations carried the day – equally important were the common threads of compassion, inclusivity, and problem-solving skills displayed in all ten National Finalist pitches.”

Introducing the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2023-2024 National Winners

The three National Winning Gen Z student teams showcased a forward-looking approach to problem-solving through STEM. Their solutions incorporated emerging technology like artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and robotics.

SchoolCity/StateCommunity Issue & STEM Solution
Brandywine High SchoolWilmington, DEACCESSIBILITY: Over 7.3 million American children are enrolled in special education (SPED) programs and many struggle to engage meaningfully with peers. Brandywine created electronic board games using printed circuit boards, microcontrolers, LED lights, and 3D printing aimed at assisting SPED students in forming enduring connections with their peers. |
Hoover High SchoolHoover, ALACCESSIBILITY: About 7.5 million Americans have neurological disorders affecting hand motor skills. Using CAD, 3D printing, and other tech, students have developed an affordable alternative for door opening that fits various door types, enhancing accessibility and inclusion. |
Princeton High SchoolPrinceton, NJENDANGERED INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES: 50% of the 6000 languages spoken worldwide are currently at risk of extinction. To safeguard endangered Indigenous languages, students developed Che'w, an AI-powered robotic stuffed animal, which speaks Mam – a Mayan language spoken by a small population of PHS students – and other Indigenous languages. This novel approach to language education, leverages tech to bridge linguistic gaps and empower Indigenous communities. |

In addition to the National Winners, four other honors were awarded:

NEW Rising Entrepreneurship Award: From the 50 State Winners, one school was selected for the Rising Entrepreneurship Award, receiving a $25,000 prize to develop a sustainable venture extending beyond the competition.
Brandywine High SchoolWilmington, DEACCESSIBILITY: See project description above.
Sustainability Innovation Award Winner: One of the 50 State Winners was honored with a Sustainability Innovation Award for driving sustainable change through STEM, receiving an additional $50,000 prize package including Samsung ENERGY STAR® technology.
Green Street Academy High SchoolBaltimore, MDURBAN WASTE: Trash poses a significant problem for cities across the U.S., including Baltimore. Students are tackling the trash problem by repurposing Sargassum seaweed to reduce reliance on paper and plastic by creating eco-friendly alternatives. By utilizing waste to prevent environmental hazards, their project not only combats deforestation but also improves air quality. |
Community Choice Winner: The public voted online for one Community Choice Winner from the 10 National Finalists, presenting the winning school with an added $10,000 prize package.
Stillwater Middle SchoolStillwater, MNLIGHT POLLUTION: Light pollution threatens the migration of over 250 bird species along the St. Croix River. Stillwater students created outdoor bird-friendly lights shaped like flowers. These lights are downward-facing, and the petals incorporate robotics to open and close based on the time of day. They used bulbs that utilize bioluminescence, producing less light than LED bulbs while still ensuring pedestrian safety. |
Employee Choice Winner: Samsung employees selected one Employee Choice Winner from the 10 National Finalists, awarding the winning school an additional $10,000 in prizes.
CY Middle SchoolCasper, WYFOOD WASTE: Food waste isn't just a social or humanitarian concern—it's an environmental one. Meanwhile, in Wyoming cold temperatures demand high heating fuel usage. CY Middle School students devised a way to dehydrate and compress food waste into fuel pellets, offering an alternative to fossil fuels while reducing landfill burden. Repurposing food waste into marketable fuel potentially creates a social entrepreneurship avenue to support community food banks. |

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow launched in 2010 as a way to boost interest, proficiency, and diversity in STEM. The education-based citizenship program has become a catalyst for a change in the perception of STEM, a crucial aspect in fostering a skilled future workforce and informed citizens of the modern world. To date, Solve for Tomorrow has awarded more than $27 million in Samsung technology and classroom supplies to 4,000-plus public schools across the United States.

To learn more about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, please visit or follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Applications for the 2024-2025 national STEM competition will open in August.

*$2 million prize is based on an estimated retail value.

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