St. Louis, Mo (December 5, 2018)—The Grand Center Arts Academy (GCAA) Makerspace is one of five Missouri state finalists for a nationwide contest and a chance to win $100,000. The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
contest is designed to boost interest and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by challenging public school teachers and students in grades 6-12 to show how STEM can be applied to help improve their local community. Classrooms were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning.
“Out of thousands of schools that entered the contest, we are honored that GCAA is a state finalist, thanks to the work of Makerspace teacher Laura Schuhwerk and her students. This is an exciting opportunity and all of us at Confluence Academies wish them all the best,” said Dr. Candice Carter-Oliver, CEO of Confluence Academies.
Ms. Schuhwerk tasked one middle school and one high school class with using the design thinking process to research, ideate, prototype, test and iterate products to help solve a problem of their choice. After presenting ideas, students voted on which project to submit for the contest. The project chosen focuses on supporting young people struggling with mental health.
“Seeing students engaged in projects that make an impact in our community is one of the best things about facilitating this project,” Ms. Schuhwerk said. “They are digging deep to find solutions to various problems affecting society and I have the honor of learning right along with them. We are ecstatic to be a state finalist and have already started planning for the next level of competition!”
All 250 teachers selected as state-level finalists will receive a Samsung tablet for their classrooms and have the opportunity to advance through future phases of the contest. The 50 state winners will receive a $20,000 Samsung technology package, 10 national winners will receive a $50,000 Samsung technology package and the 2 national winners will receive $100,000. The national winners will be announced in April 2019.