Education, Latest News, Monongalia County

MHS a national finalist in Samsung STEM competition

Morgantown High School is one of 300 schools across the country named a finalist in the Solve for Tomorrow competition, sponsored annually by Samsung Electronics America.

Samsung launched the competition in 2010 as a way to encourage creative thinking and problem-solving in society, using the components of science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM, as those core subjects are known by the blanket abbreviation.

Solve for Tomorrow is open to all public high school and middle school students across the U.S., and this year’s finalists are taking on a host of global issues that ultimately affect everyone on the planet, organizers said.

Three national winners will receive a prize package totaling $100,000 for their school. Visit for more details.

Layered among the research topics for this year’s competition are the things people are talking about anyway, Samsung said.

There’s the matter of physical safety: students, teachers and other employees in the school building.

Students and their emotional health also factor in.

Globally, there’s Ukraine, and what its ultimate fate could mean, geopolitically, to Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.

The motivation, said Ann Woo, a senior director of Samsung’s Corporate Citizenship division, is to ultimately connect ideas and entities — for the common good.

“Whether that’s connecting people to people, peer to peer, across generations or even around the globe,” the director said.

Academic connections have been easier in years past, Samsung says.

While STEM-related jobs are expected to increase 8% by 2029, today’s national scores in math are at all-time lows.

However, genuine interest in a subject always generates good grades to go with it, the corporation said.

Monongalia’s school district, meanwhile, wants to build a stand-alone STEM school it says could do both of the above — and it wants construction complete by no later than 2030.

With the working name, the “Renaissance Academy,” the $72-million facility is expected to boast gleaming, high-tech labs and other learning spaces, which the district hopes will ultimately be bannered by marquee sponsors from the STEM fields.

There are students in the district who simply don’t want to spend another four years or better in other classrooms after high school graduation, said Eddie Campbell Jr., Mon’s superintendent of schools.

Some high school seniors, Campbell said, want to join the workforce quick, with a livable wage quick — and no yoke of student loans down the road.

In his role as director of the district’s technical education center, Greg Dausch sees that every day.

His center, he said, has a pretty good success rate in job placement.

“Our graduates, whether they’re high school students or adult learners, come out of here knowing they’re going to get hired,” he told The Dominion Post previously.

“They know they’re on their way, because we get them on their way.”

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