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RHMS a national finalist in Samsung STEM contest
STEM announcement

The fourth time as a national semi-finalist is the charm for Richmond Hill Middle School.

The school is one of 10 national finalists in Samsung’s 13th annual “Solve For Tomorrow” STEM contest, the company announced Wednesday, and will compete for $100,000 in technology and prizes.

Click here to see a short video of the middle school's reaction to the announcement.

As a national finalist, RHMS won an additional $50,000 in prizes and is one of only two middle schools left in the competition for grades 6-12.

Students in the RHMS STEAM program, which adds arts to the traditional STEM offering of science, technology, engineering and math, are developing an app called Safe Sleep to help veterans.

The app will “detect sudden increases in heart rate during a PTSD nightmare. This will trigger a companion app to play breathing exercises,” according to the press release.

Brian Soash, director of the RHMS STEAM program, said the work of students and teacher Casey Collins has been inspiring.

“The Samsung Solve For Tomorrow Competition is an amazing program that RHMS’s STEAM program has been happy to have been a part of for the last four years,” Soash said. “We’ve placed as national semi-finalists for the past four years, including this year, and this is our first making it to the national finals. Ms. Collins has led the last three teams to make it this far. They have a fantastic device focused on helping the veterans of our community, and we’re excited for team members to go and present for a chance at the national prize in May.”

RHMS earlier won $10,000 in technology as a state finalist.

Samsung said the competition challenges public school students to use STEM skills to “create positive change in their communities,” and this year’s finalists include projects that address “reducing food waste and insecurity, helping unhoused refugees, subway safety, accessibility, and water quality.”

The schools will submit their ideas to a panel of judges on May 15 at a live event in Washington, D.C., and three schools will then be chosen as national winners.

“After three years of COVID disruptions that impacted students and educators alike, it’s been incredibly rewarding to see our Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition play a part in re-energizing the ingenuity and creativity that had been hobbled by remote learning and isolation for STEM students,” said Ann Woo, senior director, Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Electronics America, in the announcement. “The cooperative, hands-on, problem-solving focus of the Solve for Tomorrow challenge provided a spark for students looking to channel their energies to tackle issues that they see in their communities. These National Finalist students, teachers, and schools exhibit what we call STEMpathy – the use of STEM to help fix the issues they see affecting their friends and neighbors, people they EMPATHIZE with.”

Soash said the result is heartening.

“You’re not going to find a more powerful experience in education than having students apply what they’ve learned to solve a problem that impacts the people they see daily in their community,” he said. “Ms. Collins has been a fantastic leader in getting her team and this project this far.”

Between now and May 15, 2023, the general public can vote online for one Community Choice Winner from among the pool of 10 National Finalists, who will win an additional $10,000 prize package. To choose your favorite Solve for Tomorrow Community Choice STEM solution, check out the Finalists’ videos, which can be viewed at


Here are the finalists and their projects: 

Brandywine High School, Wilmington, Del: AACU Switch — AACU Switch eliminates cost barriers by creating an affordable alternative to assistive tech devices for people with independent living disabilities, costing a fraction of the market standard.

Strawberry Crest High School, Dover, Fla.: Human Health Band — The Human Health Band is a wearable sensor with an app that allows coaches to monitor athlete’s body temperatures and prevent heat related death.

Richmond Hill Middle School, Richmond Hill: Safe Sleep — Safe Sleep’s purpose is to detect sudden increases in heart rate during a PTSD nightmare. This will trigger a companion app to play breathing exercises.

Bloomington High School South, Bloomington, Ind.: Temp Mural — Temp Mural reduces the impact of global warming by engineering mural art using highly reflective, climate-positive barium sulfate paint.

Merrimack Valley High School, Penacook, N.H.: Shelby — Shelby combats rising phosphorus levels in bodies of water with a turtle- shaped battery-powered robot with mechanical and chemical filters.

Santa Teresa High School, Santa Teresa, N.M.: The Living Lumbre — The Living Lumbre is a smart solar-powered heated mat in response to the large flow of refugees who have ended up homeless in our community.

Doral Academy of Northern Nevada, Reno, Nev.: Food Waste App — The Food Waste App diminishes food waste/ insecurity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by connecting food producers with people to convert produce into meals.

Liberty Avenue Middle School, Brooklyn, N.Y.: Subsave — Subsave is an alert sensor within an app that will work along with the MTA help points to support commuters by discreetly reporting either a 911 emergency to police or a mental health emergency to mobile mental health responders.

Porter High School, Porter, Texas: HiveHub — HiveHub is a state-ofthe- art beehive monitoring system capable of recording the hive traffic, climate, and activity, all the while giving live feedback through the user-friendly app.

Greenbrier East High School, Lewisburg, West Va.; Mining Sensor — Mining Sensor assists with and expedites locating and rescuing lost cavers by sending a digital signal from the cavers to the surface.

“It was a difficult process for the judges to winnow down the full set of fifty State Winners to our ten National Finalists,” Woo said. “All the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow teams showed tremendous determination to help their communities. They worked hard on their projects and video presentations. And we believe that all State Winner teams deserve to be seen and celebrated as the talented and compassionate STEM heroes they truly are.”

Samsung employees will name one team this year’s Employee Choice Winner. That honor earns the winning school an added $10,000 of Samsung technology. Across all award categories in Solve for Tomorrow, more than $2 million in Samsung technology and classroom supplies will be distributed in the 202223 competition., according to the company.

To learn more about the national STEM competition, please visit www. or follow the competition on Instagram or Facebook. Richmond Hill Middle School. 

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