PLTW School Named Winner in Samsung Contest

May 25, 2013 - Arrowhead Park Early College High School (APECHS) in Las Cruces, N.M. was named a grand prize winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. The goal of the contest is to have students to examine their local communities and come up with a solution to an environmental issue. APECHS students chose to look at the issue of drought.

Out of 1,600 applicants, APECHS was selected as one of 75 semifinalists. The schools received a laptop and video camera from Samsung to create a two-minute video about its project. Based on its video, APECHS was one of 15 finalists and eventually named one the five grand prize winners.

As a grand prize winner, APECHS received $100,000 in Samsung technology, $3,000 in Adobe software, and a $7,000 grant from DirectTV.

The APECHS team was comprised of 16 students who all took PLTW's Introduction to Engineering Design course. Students used 3-D modeling software to create a telescoping palm tree that could collect 100 gallons of rainwater from a roof. They looked at potential collection off of the roof of their school and then extrapolated data to see if they could impact the city's water supply during its monsoon season.

Two teachers and four of the students from APECHS were invited to attend an awards ceremony hosted by Samsung in Washington, D.C. They also met with state representatives and senators.