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R2I2 STUDENTS ARE SEMIFINALISTS IN SAMSUNG SOLVE FOR TOMORROW CONTEST

1/15/2021

The Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2) is a semifinalist in the 11th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a $2 million nationwide competition that encourages 6th-12th grade students to creatively use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to solve a community challenge. Only 75 schools across the country were selected as a semifinalist and R2i2 is one of them.

R2i2 was chosen based on the creative proposal submitted by teachers Kirstin Bullington, Robin Jones, and Nic Jones to address contact tracing in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, applying STEM skills learned in their classrooms. Students from their classes will collaborate on the project. As a semifinalist, R2i2 will receive a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to produce their project video, $15,000 to be redeemed on DonorsChoose.org, and the opportunity to advance through future phases of the contest to win additional prizes. This is the fourth time in five years that R2i2 has represented South Carolina in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.

Kevin Alberse, Director of the R2i2 Student Center says he is delighted they are once again being recognized by Samsung. “Our students and teachers continue to innovate to solve challenges that face us all over the world. We recognize that this pandemic has caused schools and school districts to undertake a tremendous additional burden. I believe this project will help alleviate this burden and allow students to see that their work and their ideas can truly make a difference,” said Alberse.

Ten finalists will be selected later this spring to virtually pitch their projects to a panel of judges. Three national winners will be selected and each will receive the grand prize of $130,000 in classroom technology and supplies for their achievement.

The R2i2 Student Center focuses on preparing students for the workplace, certification programs and/or higher education in order to meet workforce needs. Students from all five of the district’s high schools take courses at R2i2 including Next Energy Engineering, Culinary Arts: Pastry and Baking, Animation & B.E.A.T.S., Marketing and Social Media, and Apple App Development.