STEM School Highlands Ranch wins $12,000 as part of Samsung's "Solve for Tomorrow" competition

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 13:49:38-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — STEM School Highlands Ranch won $12,000 as the state champions in Samsung's "Solve for Tomorrow" STEM competition.

Students in grades sixth through 12th were asked to create innovative solutions to critical issues in their communities.

The team from STEM School Highlands Ranch is made up of students Siddhi Singh, Dhriti Sinra, Robyn Ballheim and Bri Scoville, led by their teacher, Mr. Chacon. They call themselves the Rubber Duckies.

The group created "Project Deer" to stop wildlife collisions.

"We were able to implement a combo of heat tracking, motion tracking and classification to build the best detection system... As a proof of concept, we strapped all the components of our design on a remote control car and with permission, tested it on Daisy, our school's therapy dog," team leader Siddhi Singh explained.

The device made noise when it was near Daisy, and it stopped when the dog moved out of sight of the camera.

The team believes the device could be put on cars to achieve the same outcome for drivers — giving them advanced warning when a wild animal crosses their path and prevent a crash, creating a safer world for both drivers and animals.

"Every year, there's around 4,000 collisions — wildlife, vehicle collisions in Colorado," CDOT Environmental Manager Chuck Attardo said. "What we know is those 4,000 collisions result in a cost to Coloradans of over $80 million every year."

The device could save drivers a lot of money on insurance premiums, according to Master Technician at Audi Denver Kevin Taylor.

STEM School Highlands Ranch is now in the running for the national finals. Ten teams will be selected later this month.

If STEM School Highlands Ranch is chosen, the Rubber Duckies could get a $50,000 prize package with Samsung products and classroom resources. If the team goes all the way and are named one of three national winners, the students could win a $100,000 prize package, complete with Samsung products and classroom resources.

STEM School Highlands Ranch state champ in STEM challenge

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