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How to Apply for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest When You're Really Busy

Less than two months before school's on break for the winter, and you're already tapped out. Your students, too.

Here's how you can refresh the classroom energy: give students the opportunity to apply what they've been learning to local issues that affect them. The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is a great way to do that, while making your classroom eligible for thousands of dollars in classroom technology! 

"This has been the best experience our students have had...it's engaged them in learning on a much higher level and has generated so much excitement for school!" –State Winner Teacher

More great news: the initial step of the application is 400 words maximum.

  1. Create an account.
  2. Discuss with your students the two questions:
    1. "Tell us about a problem or issue that your students would work to solve using Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)." (200 words)
    2. "How will your students apply STEM to create a solution addressing this problem or issue?" (200 words)
  3. Fill out the questions.

Part I, Done. You're amazing. You've completed the initial portion of a contest while you're really busy.

Maybe you're like, "Wait, wait. I need more help. How do I initiate a class discussion on this?"

The National Science Foundation-funded Research+Practice Collaboratory offers climate-focused STEM Teaching Tools, including briefs such as "Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK-12" and "Connecting science instruction to neighborhood life through collaborative design with community."

Thank you to Pro-Picker Carly Hintz for their suggestion to visit TEDed for lesson ideas, discussion prompts, and even additional resources to run with. Perhaps you'll prompt a discussion on how we can prepare for or support climate mobility with this animation, or engage in a conversation on the value of trees after watching this animation.

Project Learning Tree provides some great STEM x Water Conservation lesson ideas.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow also provides some great suggestions here.

Or, depending on where your students are in their learning, simply start a group discussion with: "What are some environmental issues or concerns that you see in your communities that you would like to try to solve?" Let the students' observations guide their research on sustainability and generation of ideas.

And if you're thinking, "Why STEM?," here's why:

According to Education First's 2017 report, Making the Most of ESSA: Opportunities to Advance STEM Education:

  • As of 2011, 20% of all jobs—require a high level of knowledge in a STEM field.
  • The national annual average wage for STEM occupations is roughly 1.7 times that of all occupations.
  • Access to high-quality STEM education is deeply inequitable—and that is reflected in our STEM workforce.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow offers several STEM-EE topics including, but not limited to: Climate Change, Energy Conservation, Environmental Sustainability, Pollution, and Water Conservation.

100 schools will be named State Winner and will receive a $6,500 prize package including Samsung products and classroom resources, plus the opportunity to work with a Samsung employee mentor. From the 100 State Winners, one Sustainability Innovation Award winner showing consideration for environmental impact will be chosen by NAAEE to receive a $10,000 environmental sustainability prize package from DonorsChoose!