TA is Samsung Solve for Tomorrow State Finalist

TA is Samsung Solve for Tomorrow State Finalist

Thetford Academy is among the nation’s 250 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest – a nationwide competition challenges students in grades 6-12 to apply STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to find creative solutions to real-world issues impacting their local communities.

Out of thousands of schools that entered the contest, the 250 state finalists — five from each state — were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning. All 250 teachers selected as state finalists will receive one Samsung tablet for their classrooms and have the opportunity to advance through future phases of the contest.

Thetford Academy’s proposal aims to find sustainable solutions to the problem of food scarcity in our region with a creative collaboration between students in Casey Huling’s “Why Food Matters” — a sustainable agriculture-based Social Studies course — and academic dean Marc Chabot’s Physical Science students.

This year, these classes will team up to develop a sustainable, easily-managed system to farm tilapia, a white fish, for food. In the past, a similar effort became problematic during weekends and school breaks, when it was difficult for students to adequately care for the fish. But this year, Mr. Chabot’s Science students hope to solve this problem with creativity and computer-driven engineering.

Using Raspberry Pi computers, Physical Science students will learn to create Python programs that can connect to and control the cameras, thermometers, servos, gas detectors, etc. that support the fish. They will work collaboratively with the “Why Food Matters” class to build a remote, internet-based solution for caring for the tilapia that will ensure the project’s success–even over the long winter break.

The next step for TA comes on Dec. 10, when the team submits a detailed “activity plan” and competes to represent Vermont as a state winner and Samsung Solve for Tomorrow finalist.