Top-10 placement earns school $50,000 technology package, chance at $100,000

Staff Reports

A classroom security lock designed by Owensville High School students Trey Fisher, Paige Tayloe and Jonah Hoffman is one of 10 projects selected as a national finalist in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition and has earned the three a trip to New York City in April to see if they can win a $100,000 technology prize package for their school.

“Selected from thousands of entries nationwide, students from Owensville High School are being nationally recognized for designing a lock to quickly secure a classroom in the event of a school shooting,” according to a release issued Monday by Samsung. “This project has earned them a place as one of 10 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest — a $2 million competition that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their local community using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).”

The OHS student project earlier this year was selected as the winner among entries submitted by Missouri schools. That placement earned the school a $20,000 technology package from Samsung. Being a national finalist guarantees that the school will receive at least $50,000 worth of Samsung technology and the chance to win up to $100,000 worth of their products.

As a top 10 national finalist, the OHS students will travel to the Final Pitch Event in New York City where they will present their project to a panel of judges in the quest to be named one of three national grand prize winners.

“Additionally, your local community can vote for Owensville High School to help them become this year’s community choice winner and win an additional $10,000 worth of technology and supplies for their school,” according to contest officials. “Simply view the school’s project video and cast a vote online.”

Cindy Hawkins, principal at OHS, said the three students will now have the opportunity to fly to New York City on March 31 and present their project before a panel of judges on April 1. During the presentation, they will be “sharing how it will benefit the local community and beyond,” according to Samsung.

Hawkins said they will spend another night in NYC and a final decision will be announced April 2. Hawkins said the students will be chaperoned by their science teacher, Kevin Lay, herself, and Kris Altemeyer, the school’s assistant principal.

“I’m so excited for them,” said Hawkins. “This is just so exciting.”

According to Samsung, during the Final Pitch Event, three grand-prize winners will be chosen by the judges and awarded $100,000 in technology. In addition, one school will be named the Community Choice Award winner — which will be determined by online public voting — and will receive an additional $10,000 in technology. 

“From school safety to climate change, these students experienced challenges that affect our nation as a whole, but rather than sitting on the sidelines, they have become changemakers,” said Ann Woo, senior director of corporate citizenship for Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung Solve for Tomorrow challenges students to create high-impact, functional solutions. Each of these national finalists answered the call beyond our imaginations, and we look forward to seeing their world-changing STEM innovations in action this April.”

Community Choice Award — how to vote

The local Gasconade County R-2 School District community — and anyone throughout the country — can vote online for their favorite school and project to determine this year’s Community Choice Award winner at Samsung.com/solve. Public voting closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 27.

 About the OHS project

With school shootings on the rise, students at Owensville High School designed a simple and secure door lock to help keep students and teachers safe in the event of an armed intruder. Because traditional door locks can be quickly dismantled by a firearm, Owensville High students designed, modeled and created a steel lock that cannot be easily disengaged from outside of the classroom. Once installed on the interior of a door, the one-piece lock can be easily and quickly put into place to prevent an intruder from entering and attacking students and teachers.

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