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SMS students shine at national STEM competition

SMS students shine at national STEM competition
SMS students shine at national STEM competition

STILLWATER, Minn. -- April 30, 2024 -- Sixth graders from Stillwater Middle School (SMS) presented at the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition in Washington, D.C. They were one of just 10 schools across the country to be named national finalists, earning them $50,000 in Samsung technology and supplies for their classroom.

The competition challenged public school students in grades 6-12 to create positive change in their communities by using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to solve pressing local issues. 

SMS students, led by teacher Corrie Christensen, created a bioluminescent light to help fight light pollution that threatens bird migration. The downward-facing solar lights they dubbed Lumen Bloom - are shaped like a flower, with petals that incorporate robotics to open and close based on the time of day. 

Three students - Maria Donnay, Eleanor Keyser and Arthur Lee - presented the project at a live pitch event at the Samsung Solutions Center in Washington, D.C., answering questions before a panel of expert judges.

The project was named Community Choice Winner based on a month-long online public vote, earning them an additional $10,000 in prizes.

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