A local high school science team won a national spot among the top-10 finalists for a $100,000 prize.
The Fairfield High School team’s just-announced finalist standing means the school has already won $50,000 in science tech from the contest’s sponsor, the Samsung Corporation.
It’s a first for Fairfield High School. The teen members of the science project team earlier beat out all other teams in Ohio.
Samsung will now pay the team to send three students along with their advisor to Samsung’s New York City office to pitch their project for a chance to win the $100,000 top prize of technology gifts for the Butler County school.
The teens’ project, dubbed “Operation Thaw,” required the students to solve a community problem using STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts.
Their idea is to defrost the windshield of a car without starting it and contributing to polluting the environment. Instead, the car’s heater will be started remotely using a phone app they have developed.
Physics teacher Kurt Etter, who is the team’s advisor, said “this means I will take three students to New York City over spring break to pitch our idea to in an attempt to be one of three winners,” of the national contest.
Fairfield High School Principal Bill Rice said the team has made the whole school community proud.
“We are so excited for this group of students and so proud of their work. These physics students, under Mr. Etter’s leadership, identified a problem, researched solutions, then designed and built a working model,” Rice said.
“This project is a great example of the experiential learning that is happening in the STEM classes at Fairfield High School. It also is a great example of the partnerships being formed between Fairfield High School and corporations such as Samsung. These students are changing the world.”