Junior High science class named state finalist for technology contest

Lewistown Junior High School was named one of the nation’s 255 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a program that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

Samsung received nearly 3,000 applications for this award. The other state finalists for Montana are Capital High School in Helena, Sentinel High School in Missoula, Whitefish Middle School and Red Lodge High School. The 255 state finalists each will submit an activity plan, outlining their project development and the issue it will work to solve.

Suzie Flentie’s eighth grade classroom was chosen based on the students’ proposal to use STEAM skills to address Central Montana’s lack of interactive communication capabilities when faced with hazardous events like the fires this summer.  

To tackle this project, students will work with the U.S Forest Service, BLM, Fergus County’s Department of Emergency Services and the Education Manager for Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) to create an app that is user friendly and specific to our community. As one of five state finalists in Montana, Flentie will win a Samsung Chromebook laptop computer to use in her classroom. 

Lewistown Junior High School will now have the opportunity to advance in the competition for additional classroom technology prizes. Flentie is currently working on an Activity Plan outlining how her students will execute their project. If she is named the Montana state winner in December, the Junior High will receive a $25,000 Samsung technology package, along with a video producing package.

Fifty-one state winners will be selected to submit a video of their project in action. The top 10 will progress to the national finalist stage. Ten national finalists will attend a Pitch Event, where they will pitch their project to a panel of judges. For achieving national finalist status, seven schools will receive a $50,000 Samsung technology package. The other three will progress to the national winner stage. 

Three national winners will be selected and each will receive a $150,000 Samsung technology package. All of the 10 national finalists will be eligible to win an additional $20,000 Samsung technology package based on social media voting.

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