Selected from thousands of entries nationwide, Mescalero Apache High School in Mescalero has been named a New Mexico State Winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest for its proposed plan to address Apache language conservation.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Nate Raynor, Science and STEM teacher at Mescalero Apache Schools says, “In the 5 years that we have competed in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest (3 of which we were named State Winners), I have my students research a real-world problem on their reservation that they can help solve.”
Mescalero Apache High School is among the nation’s 100 State Winners (representing all 50 states) and will receive $15,000 in technology for its achievement. In addition, the school will receive a Samsung video kit to create and submit a three-minute video that showcases their project development and how it addresses the issue. The video will be used for the chance to advance to the next phase of the contest and win additional prizes and educational opportunities.
“Samsung is extremely proud of the evolution of the Solve for Tomorrow platform over the past 10 years: fueling students’ passion and curiosity to tackle issues that affect their communities in unexpected and creative ways,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “Reading the innovative proposals students and teachers have put forth this year exemplifies what we know to be true for every student – that young minds have just as much to teach as they do to learn. Our guiding citizenship vision is ‘Enabling People,’ and we are thrilled to celebrate another year of empowering future innovators to achieve their full potential through STEM learning.”
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest named three State Winners within New Mexico, they are:
- Mescalero Apache High School in Mescalero; Teacher Nate Raynor and his students
- Ojo Amarillo Elementary School in Fruitland; Teacher Adriane Jopek and her students
- Taos Academy in Taos; Teacher Laura Tenorio and her students
Project Overview: Mescalero Apache High School
Local Issue: In the Apache community, tradition is very important and conserving the language is the biggest concern of the elderly.
Proposed Project: Using coding and robotics, translate the Apache language and teach the Apache youth to help keep the language alive.
“We are using our high school STEM students to train our elementary students on coding and they are using the Apache language,” says Mr. Raynor.
Students, Lani and Joseph, are thrilled about their school’s STEM program. Lani says, “We have the best STEM program in Otero County in my opinion.” Joesph adds by saying, “Since I’ve been involved with Mescalero STEM program, I’ve been places that I don’t think I could have gone without this program. I enjoy teaching elementary students how to code. It’s great to see the look in their eyes when something goes right. Also, they are using their native language and it has been great.”
Contest Phases All 100 State Winners will work on their projects and submit their three-minute video in hopes of advancing in the contest’s remaining phases. 20 National Finalist schools will be selected to travel to the final event in the spring where they will present their project to a panel of judges. For achieving National Finalist status, schools will be awarded in total $50,000 in technology and classroom materials. Five grand prize National Winner schools will receive in total $100,000 in technology and classroom materials, and participate in a trip to Washington, D.C. to present their projects to members of Congress. Public voting will also determine one Community Choice winner from the pool of National Finalists, who will be eligible to win an additional $10,000 in Samsung technology