Downtown Doral Charter Upper School in Doral, Florida was named one of five National Winners in the 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. The competition encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). As a National Winner, Downtown Doral Charter Upper School will receive $100,000* in classroom technology.
Downtown Doral Charter Upper School advanced through multiple phases of the contest to achieve the National Winner title. Last fall, Downtown Doral Charter Upper School was selected from thousands of public school entries from across the country and then named as one of 300 State Finalists, then Florida State Winner, and in the spring was named one of 20 National Finalists.
Last week, Downtown Doral Charter Upper School students participated in the first-ever Virtual Pitch Event where classrooms collaborated remotely to present their project to a panel of judges. Because of their creative use of STEM to address flash flooding, judges selected Downtown Doral Charter Upper School as a National Grand Prize Winner.
The five National Winners and one Community Choice Award Winner were revealed in a Virtual Celebration Event on June 4. The event included remarks from Samsung executives and Solve for Tomorrow alumni and can be seen here.
“Samsung is deeply troubled by the events that have happened in our country recently and our hearts go out to the people and communities across the nation who are hurting. During these difficult times, we remain committed to supporting and empowering our youth, who have worked tirelessly all year in a rapidly changing world, and honoring their hard work so they may shine and pave the way as problem-solvers and changemakers who build hope for our future,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “It may be hard to imagine how positivity can come from challenging times, but we believe they can be the source of creativity and innovation of new pathways. For the past 10 years, Solve for Tomorrow has encouraged students to identify the issues facing their communities and we are proud of the work these students have done to take action.”
Flash Flooding is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. The city of Doral receives large amounts of precipitation especially during summer and hurricane season, but sediment obstruction and poor drainage have led to drainage system failures and flooding. The students created a device to detect sediment build-up and share real-time updates on the density of sediments in drains to local officials when structures need immediate cleaning and maintenance.