Last year, Delta High School was the state winner of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest for a student project designed to reduce the noise level in the cafeteria at Lincoln Elementary School. Students in Ben Magtutu's class employed STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills to design soundproof walls to absorb excess noise in the school cafeteria.
Decibel testing before and after the installation of the sound boards demonstrated the project worked as intended -- the sound level was about a hundred times less intense.
As state winner, the school was awarded $25,000 worth of technology that included 15 Samsung PCs. Magtutu said the school district's technology office is formatting the computers for use in a computer science program to be taught by Danielle Lopez. In addition, an extracurricular coding club is in the works, with Jake Caldwell serving as adviser.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest aims to raise awareness and enthusiasm for STEAM subjects among students in grades 6-12. Solve for Tomorrow was created to help close that gap and inspire the future innovators of this growing sector. Economic experts estimate that the U.S. will need approximately one million more STEAM professionals than it will produce at the current rate over the next decade.
"While there's a growing chasm between education and career opportunities, there's no shortage of students who are excited to creatively address problems they see every day -- it's a matter of helping them draw connections between STEAM and the real world," said Ann Woo, senior director of corporate citizenship, Samsung Electronics America. "The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest gets students engaged through hands-on learning to empower the student who already has their eyes set on a future in STEAM, as well as inspire the student who never previously considered it. We encourage teachers to enter this contest and to engage their students on this journey."
Today through Thursday, Nov. 9, teachers can enter the contest online by answering three simple questions detailing how their students will use STEAM to combat a local challenge. From environmental to health, safety to nutrition, equality to poverty, and more -- any matter that's important to students and their communities can be submitted to the contest.
"As a teacher, I'm always looking for new ways to get my students excited about the curriculum, and last year, it was Samsung Solve for Tomorrow that made all the difference," said Michael Eilertsen, teacher at Snowflake Junior High School in Arizona and a 2017 national winner. "My students not only fostered the critical thinking skills they need for future careers, they also had an active role in safeguarding the people and wildlife in our community."