Houston High School is one of five schools in Tennessee to be chosen among the nation’s 255 state finalists in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest.
The program encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).
Leslie Brommer, a Career and Technology teacher at HHS, worked with a team of students from the Cyber Patriots coding club to submit an entry to the contest. Her team’s proposal was chosen from a pool of nearly 3,000 entries nationwide based on their creative and strategic idea to solve a complicated issue that affects their community by using STEAM learning.
The winning team consists of Stefano Della Rosa, Mandy Merkle, Jake Manuel, and Nick Anewalt. Their concept would create an app that puts users in touch with local animal shelters and rescue organizations. "If you are looking for a new dog, a user can enter their desired qualities, and their app will notify you when such a dog becomes available," explains Brommer. The app, therefore, addresses a way to use technology to make the world a better place.
As a reward for becoming a state finalist, Brommer will receive a Samsung Chromebook for her classroom and has the opportunity to advance in the competition for additional prizes and educational opportunities.
With $2 million in technology on the line, Brommer and teachers from the other state finalist schools will submit an activity plan outlining how students will tackle their local issue using STEAM skills to ultimately improve the greater community. The activity plan will be judged based on the following criteria: Originality, Sustainability, Community Involvement/Impact, Need for Technology, and Application of STEAM studies/procedures.
The results of who advances from the state of Tennessee will be announced on Wednesday, December 13th. "From there, if we advance, we will create a video that covers the marketing of our app," shared Brommer. Mandy Merkle, who is a power-player for DECA (a club that provides competitions in business marketing for high school students) is also excited about the next step.