CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Students at Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake just won $65,000 from Samsung for using their skills to help their classmates feel safer in school.
Hickory Middle School was named one of 10 National Finalists in the 11th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. The contest is a nationwide competition that challenges middle school students to use their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to address local issues and inspire change in their communities.
The $65,000 will be used to help Hickory Middle School get new technology and classroom supplies.
For their specific project, the students at Hickory created a contactless, automated door opening and locking system tied to student badges.
The students also created an app for faculty and staff to control the system, monitor who entered the classroom and when, as well as aid in contact tracing and locating students in an emergency.
They say the project will address the national concern over the increase in school shootings as well decrease the risks of spreading bacteria.
In just a few weeks, the students will participate in a virtual pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges in hopes to be named one of three National Winners and take home the grand prize of $130,000.*
Officials are also encouraging community members to help Hickory Middle School win an additional $15,000* as a Community Choice Award winner by voting online at Samsung.com/solve.