In a rural farming community like Gering, Neb., the application of pesticides and herbicides to crops is a common occurrence. It’s a necessity for the farmers, yet raises health concerns. As part of the nationwide Solve for Tomorrow contest sponsored by Samsung, a group of students and the local high school applied their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to develop a solution that would provide farmers with an economical and effective way to treat their crops without jeopardizing the health of residents of the community.
Their solution: a pair of specially configured and programmable drones. The first drone was designed to map off a field into a series of grids, identifying the exact location of the offending weeds. This data was fed to a second drone equipped with nozzles to spray the chemicals only on the weeds. It was a solution that was honored by Samsung in 2017 as a Solve for Tomorrow contest winner.
Other past winners include students who developed a device that allows first responders to safely collect hazardous needles left behind by opioid users, and devices for football helmets to quickly identify potential concussions.
This year marks the 9th annual Solve for Tomorrow Contest; new to the contest is the ability for teachers to create a funding campaign on DonorsChoose.org. to engage citizen donors to contribute the necessary supplies for their STEM-focused project. For the first 3,500 teachers who submit an entry now through Oct. 30 Samsung will match 50 percent of their funding amount, up to $200 per teacher.
From the pool of applicants, 250 state finalists will be awarded a Samsung tablet for their classroom. Fifty state winners will advance and receive $20,000 in technology and supplies, plus a video kit to they can use to showcase their project.
Samsung will continue to dispense awards—the 10 national finalists will receive $50,000 in technology and supplies along with a trip to the final event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. Three grand prize winners will be revealed, each of whom will receive $100,000 in classroom technology and supplies.
To enter the contest, go to Samsung.com/solve