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Hot Springs High School named STEM contest finalist

By Lee Hogan

This article was published February 5, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.

Hot Springs High School is among 15 across the U.S. that have been named finalists in a contest focusing on how science and mathematics can be used to help the environment in their communities.

In August, more than 1,600 schools entered Samsung's "Solve for Tomorrow" contest, by writing essays on how science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, can be used.

Mike Vincent, Hot Springs High School environmental and spatial technology facilitator, said the decision to enter was last-minute.

Vincent wasn't aware of the contest until the week of the entry deadline, when a parent told him about an e-mail she received about the competition.

"It's interesting: It almost didn't happen, and we're in the finals now," Vincent said.

Seventy-five semifinalists were chosen, with 25 each from urban, suburban and rural areas.

Hot Springs and the other semifinalists received a Samsung camcorder, laptop and Adobe editing software to create a video for the next part of the competition, which determined the finalists.

Hot Springs High School's video can be seen here.

Each finalist school received $40,000 in technology. The grand-prize winners will each receive $110,000 in prizes from Samsung, the Adobe Foundation and DirecTV.

Three grand-prize winners will be named by a group of judges at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in March. A fourth grand-prize winner will be chosen by Samsung employees, and a fifth winner, the Community Choice Award Winner, will be chosen by a public online vote.

"We are very excited about our finalists and congratulate them for the creativity and hard work they showed through their entries," Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy of Samsung Electronics North America David Steel said in a statement.

Vincent said the students are excited about the distinction of being finalists in the competition.

"After viewing other videos, they really feel like they have a decent chance of winning one of the top five spots," Vincent said.

The online voting is open until 10:59 p.m. Central time on March 4. Voting is available at www.samsung.com/solvefortomorrow and the Samsung Facebook Solve tab at www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA.

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