Lakota East HS students advance in national tech contest

Only 5 schools in Ohio had students who won $5K and moved forward in the competition.

Students from Lakota East High School were among only five schools in Ohio to advance in a prestigious, national tech contest with a top prize of $100,000.

Officials from the 13th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition recently announced the top finalists from each state and the Lakota East students were chosen among 1,000 entries nationwide.

The one East team and individual student have already won a contest prize package of $5,000 in technology and school supplies for their Liberty Twp. high school.

Now they are competing to be one of three national winners of $100,000 of learning technology as the contest nears its completion early in 2023.

Students from Fairfield High School won the $100,000 contest prize in 2020.

ExploreFairfield science team wins $100K for school in national contest

Lakota officials said the high school’s winners were from its Senior Engineering Capstone program – in coordination with Butler Tech - and included students Ian Balfour, Alec Brown, Sean Castillo, Aidan Ethier, Johannes Fernholz and Will Price.

Together they developed a design proposal for an educational autonomous delivery robot for schools.

And classmate Abigail Theobald also advanced as a state finalist due to her work on a pre-habilitation injury prevention program for athletes. Theobald has already began putting her plan into motion with the Lakota East Athletic Department, said officials.

“This project is the launching point based upon years of research about injury prevention strategies and the effects of overtraining,” said Theobald. “Through the creation of an app which will provide injury prevention knowledge and exercise programs for athletes to use and the implementation of injury prevention strategies at Lakota East, injury risk can start to be reduced.”

Michelle Crossan-Matos, chief marketing, citizenship & communications officer for Samsung Electronics America said “as a company and as individuals, STEM is incredibly important to Samsung – we depend on STEM-savvy people to envision, implement, and engage with innovative STEM-dependent products and services.”

“Between 2019 and 2029, the number of STEM jobs are predicted to grow 8%, a higher rate than non-STEM jobs. But while STEM skills are key to a 21st century workforce, we know that national test scores in STEM subjects like math have fallen by the largest margin in 30-plus years. Solve for Tomorrow was designed to provide schools and teachers with an innovative, problem-based learning approach to STEM education to boost student interest, proficiency, and diversity in STEM. This fresh crop of impressive State Finalists is proof that we’re succeeding.”

Ann Woo, Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Electronics America, noted several significant trends in the program proposals submitted this fall.

“Every year’s entries provide a window into the concerns and aspirations on the minds of that cohort of middle and high school students,” Woo said. “A common theme this year is ‘connecting’ – whether that’s connecting people to people, peer to peer, across generations, or even around the globe.”

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