STEM School Chattanooga was recently named one of 255 nationwide finalists—and one of five finalists in the state—for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.

Solve for Tomorrow is a program that encourages students to use science, technology, engineering, arts and math skills to find solutions for community problems.

David Vanzant’s 10th-grade class at STEM School Chattanooga was awarded its finalist position based on its proposal aimed at designing solutions for people with mental and physical disabilities.

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The plan includes life-size games for people who use wheelchairs and those with physical disabilities, a wheelchair-accessible greenhouse, and empathy training for people in wheelchairs with cerebral palsy.

Vanzant’s class selected the projects based on the focus of STEM School Chattanooga’s partner, Signal Centers. This organization strengthens children, adults and families through services focused on disabilities, early childhood education and self-sufficiency.

Of the 255 finalists, 51 winners will be asked to create a video of their projects in action by February. Samsung will then pick 10 of the 51 to be national winners. Of the 10 national winners, three will move on to pitch their projects to a panel of judges.

The 41 state winners who do not progress will receive $25,000 in Samsung technology. The seven national winners who do not progress will receive $50,000 in Samsung technology. All 10 national finalists will be eligible to win an additional $20,000 package of Samsung technology. Samsung will award the three grand prizewinners a $150,000 Samsung technology package.

Samsung will announce the grand prizewinners in April.

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