Watertown High School Receives National Recognition From Samsung

WATERTOWN, SD-  Problem solving can go a long way.  It even caught Samsung’s attention, 20-thousand dollars worth to be exact.

“My students brainstormed and tried to come up with ideas as to solving a problem in our school,” says Watertown High School Computer Science Teacher Kathy Bierscheid.

The “Project Lead The Way” computer science class applied for Samsung’s “Solve For Tomorrow” competition in November and submitted their proposed idea in December.  Now all 3 of their ideas on ways to help the school are representing South Dakota.

“Just the fact that Samsung selected our ideas over the others and (you know) it gives us a sense of accomplishment,” says Watertown Freshman Josh Obenauer.

The class focused on the school’s safety like using drones to detect intruders and G.P.S. badges to keep track of the students.

Watertown Sophomore Blake Reiner says, “If it detects the intruder it will scan their face and go right for them.”

“Project Positivity” is a future app that allows students to set weekly goals like saying hi to people or opening the door.  Goals add up to points and the prize isn’t tangible.

“It’s very experimental right now, but I do have a general idea of just wanting it to (somehow) try to make everybody a little bit kinder,” explains Obenauer.

Their teacher, Kathy Bierscheid says this contest now gives the students a chance to put this plan into action.  “I want to teach students to be creators of technology and not just users of technology. When they actually create something like this and see the final product, it really gives them ownership.”

The 20-thousand prize gives students the tools to create a video, which will show Samsung a vision of their ideas.   The students have until February 15th to send their video.  10 National Finalists will be named, and will compete for the 100-thousand dollar grand prize.

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