SamsungTomorrowSXSWedu kicked off this morning in Austin Texas and the Techfaster team is on the ground to cover all the action.

Today, fifteen public schools from across the country are competing for their part in $2 million dollars in educational prizes from Samsung.

Schools from Washington, D.C., Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington – have won $35,000* in technology as national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, the company’s commitment to raise interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning across America.

Three grand prize winners will be chosen by a panel of judges; a fourth will be chosen by Samsung employees; and a fifth, the Community Choice Award winner, will be determined by public online voting. The grand prize winners receive $140,000* in technology and an invitation to a special awards ceremony on April 16 in Washington, D.C.

SXSWedu“We congratulate these winners on the quality and creativity of their projects,” said David Steel, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics North America. “Not only have they impressed us with what they are capable of, they have made us very excited about what they will accomplish in the future by harnessing the STEM skills and community-based learning they have gained from participating in this contest.”

Now in its fourth year, more than 2,300 schools from across the country applied to this contest. Samsung created Solve for Tomorrow to get students and teachers excited about STEM by challenging them to apply their classroom learning to solve a real-world issue in their local community. Some of the unique ways they have done this is analyzing crime data to find the safest routes to school in an urban community and helping restore the health of a local bay through an oyster reef.

Since 2004, Samsung’s education programs have contributed more than $13 million* in technology to more than 500 public schools in the United States. Samsung continues to support children’s education by providing tools that empower young people to learn through a variety of STEM initiatives, including the company’s Mobile Application Academies and a partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).

Samsung is also expected to make an announcement on a new piece of educational technology here at SXSWedu.

Here are the 15 schools and their winning videos:

School City, State Video Submission
Howard Dilworth

Woodson STEM High School

Washington, D.C.
G.W. Carver Middle School Miami, FL
Sandcreek Middle School Ammon, ID
Frank H. Harrison Middle School Yarmouth, ME
Worcester Technical High School Newark, MD
Sunburst Jr. High School Sunburst, MT
New Bridge Middle School Jacksonville, NC
King Science and Technology Magnet Center Omaha, NE
Oliver Street School Newark, NJ
Elko Institute for Academic Achievement Elko, NV
El Reno High School El Reno, OK
Academy at Palumbo Philadelphia, PA
Vermillion Middle School Vermillion, SD
Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School Nashville, TN
East Valley High School Yakima, WA