A Lakeside Junior High School Education Accelerated by Service and Technology student project has been named one of 50 state winners in the 13th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, receiving a $12,000 prize package.
Ninth graders Katelyn Spurlock, Guadalupe Granados and Zane Turner of Lakeside Junior High School created a project to prevent flooding through data, said Jamie Stallings, Lakeside EAST facilitator.
"While it is nice to be acknowledged for our work, we're most excited that our project has the potential to make our community safer," Katelyn said. "We can't wait to finish the sensor and put it in the field."
Zane said he's also grateful for all he's learned.
"I'm glad I got the opportunity to be able to participate in this competition so I can test my skills in coding and expand my knowledge with Raspberry Pi," Zane said.
The students submitted a game-changing project for the challenge, according to a Samsung press release. Participants were required to tackle topics such as geopolitical matters, climate change, school safety, personal safety, mental health and school bus commuting.
“We are creating sensors to gather data in areas where flash flooding occurs and are hoping to share that data to create an early warning system,” Stallings said. “We hope it makes the community safer.”
Robyn Lane, a Crafton Tull environmental scientist, provided some mentorship for the Lakeside students, Stallings said. Crafton Tull is a civil engineering, surveying, architecture, landscape architecture and planning firm with locations in Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to the firm's website.
"We met with her in the fall, and she really kickstarted our work and got us pointed in the right direction," Stallings said of Lane. "She’s also pointed us in the right direction as we’ve looked for resources."
Helen Tyson and Hellstern middle school EAST students also had projects among the 300 state finalists in the annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. All three schools received a $2,500 prize package for that stage of the competition.
Solve for Tomorrow is a national competition that challenges U.S. public school students in grades 6-12 to explore the role science, technology, engineering and math play in solving some of the biggest issues in their communities, according to the Samsung release.
Next steps for state winners include submitting a three-minute video demonstrating how students are using science, technology, engineering and math to address their community issue, according to the release.
"I'm excited to move forward to show what Lakeside EAST can do," Zane said.
The field of 50 state winners will be whittled down to 10 national finalists, who will pitch their project to judges at an in-person event in May, according to the release.
Judges will name three teams as national winners, each of whom will earn a prize package worth $100,000, according to the release. The seven other national finalists will each receive a $50,000 prize package.
Samsung will also honor one of the 50 state winners as the Sustainability Innovation Award Winner, according to the release. The public will likewise vote online for one Community Choice Winner, and Samsung employees will name one team as this year’s Employee Choice Winner.
The full list of 50 state winners can be found here.
Ninth graders Katelyn Spurlock, Guadalupe Granados and Zane Turner of Lakeside Junior High School created a project to prevent flooding through data.
Zane Turner works on the data sensor.
Katelyn Spurlock and Guadalupe Granados meet with Robyn Lane.