Two Indian River schools chosen as Delaware finalists in STEM contest

MILLSBORO – Two schools in the Indian River School District are state finalists in a nationwide contest linked to STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

Sussex Central High School and Millsboro Middle School are Delaware finalists in the 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a $3 million competition that encourages sixth- through 12th-grade students to creatively use STEM.

The two schools were among 2,000 entries nationwide. Only 300 schools were selected as state finalists. State winners will be announced in late December.

Sussex Central was chosen based on the creative proposal submitted by digital media teacher D. Morelli to address Education for the Safe Use of Drive-on Beaches using STEM learning in her classroom.

Ms. Morelli and student members of the Technology Student Association are working to decrease the likelihood of vehicles getting stuck in the sand on local drive-on beaches by creating an electronic check point or phone app that will inform beachgoers of safe conditions and teach them about correct ways to use the drive-on beach.

Millsboro Middle School was selected based on the proposal submitted by science instructor Sarah Betlejewski to address tick and tick-born illness prevention using STEM learning in her classroom.

Ms. Morelli and Ms. Betlejewski will receive a Samsung tablet for their classroom and have the opportunity to advance through future phases of the contest to win additional prizes.

In the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest:

• One hundred state winner schools will advance in the contest and receive $15,000 in technology and classroom materials as well as a video kit to help showcase their project.

• Twenty national finalist schools will be selected to travel to the pitch event in the spring where they will present their project to a panel of judges. For achieving national finalist status, schools will receive $50,000 in technology and classroom materials.

• Five national grand prize-winning schools will receive $100,000 in technology and classroom materials, and a trip to Washington, D.C. to present their projects to members of Congress.

• Public voting will also determine one Community Choice winner from the pool of national finalists, who will be eligible to win an additional $10,000 in Samsung technology.

“Since launching the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest a decade ago, we’ve seen students tackle some of the biggest issues facing their generation and this year is no different,” said Ann Woo, senior director of corporate citizenship at Samsung Electronics America.

“From suicide prevention to single use plastic alternatives, teachers and students are stepping up to creatively address these important issues head-on. We’re thrilled to congratulate the state finalists of the 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest and look forward to seeing these STEM projects progress in the coming months.”

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