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Sunburst Middle School Wins “Solve for Tomorrow” Contest – Wins $130,000

Peter McDiarmid/Getty Images

A group of eighth graders from the small northwest town of Sunburst, Mont. found out on Tuesday that they would be winning $130,000 for their school. The money is an award for winning the “Solve for Tomorrow” contest put on by Samsung. Students are tasked with using science and technology to solve a real world problem. Teacher Kim Bloch said her students knew exactly which problem to tackle:

“Last May, we had tragedy strike our community,” Bloch said. “We have a salt flat right next to our highway and it created a white out condition where over nine cars were in an accident. Several of our students were injured and unfortunately our speech teacher lost her life that day. It wasn’t hard to come up with an issue that affected our entire community.”

The entire eighth grade class only has five students, but they were able to prove to Samsung that they deserved to be one of just a few schools across the nation to win the big prize. Bloch said the money will be put to good use:

“Technology for the school—I mean tablets, and laptops, and TVs, and computers,” Bloch said. “We are very, very excited to be able to have the latest in technology for our students. We have about 180 kids give or take in our entire district and this is going to affect all of us.”

Some of the solutions that the children came up with involved diverting run-off water so it never hit the salt flats, and strategically planting shrubs and grasses to prevent the problem from occurring again.

To see the eighth graders video submission, click here.

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