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STEM team solves community problem

STEM team solves community problem

By Todd Travis

Six Center Grove High School seniors have stepped up to compete in the 2022 Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest, and they have found great success. So far, they have reached the national finals among nine other groups, and they won $50,000 worth of Samsung technology and supplies to the high school. As finalists, they have the chance to go on and win $100,000 as they travel to New York to present their project before judges for a chance to be chosen as the national winners.

The idea behind the competition is to take STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to create something that will solve a problem the students have noticed in the community. The girls decided to take eye-tracking software that is currently being used to keep students from cheating on tests and use it to help drivers stay safer while on the road. The idea is that the eye tracking will alert the driver with a buzz or something similar to a rumble strip to help them get their eyes back on the road.

The following students will compete nationally in New York (from left to right): Shirley Zheng, Hope Mander, Paige Merrill, Maddie Siems, Ananya Balaji and Shelby Walker. (Photo by Stacy Conrad)

This is the third year the school has participated in the competition and the second time they have made it as national finalists. Their teacher, Andrea Teevan, credits the students for all the hard work they put into these projects. “I like the projects to be in their hands. I tell them ‘this is going to be your project and I’ll help any way I can, but I want you to take the leadership,’” she said. “It’s really part of the whole process, to push them and for them to know that they can do it.”

One other benefit the kids receive by participating in this competition is that they become a part of the Samsung Solve Alumni Network. One of the past winners actually went on to work for Samsung after participating in the contest a couple of years back.

Center Grove STEM teacher Andrea Teevan. (Submitted photo)

Shelby Walker recounts her highlights during this experience. “My favorite part was putting the video together at the end because it showed how much we really did. At the time we were working, it didn’t feel like a lot, but putting it all together into one video was really cool,” she said. “I also liked that it was an all-girls group because it was a way of supporting women in STEM, which I’m passionate about.”

You can visit the Samsung website to watch the video the girls made and vote for Center Grove every day up until April 23 at samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow.

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