Broadway Middle School is one of five schools in the state to advance in a nationwide science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition sponsored by Samsung.
Eighth-grade teacher Jeremy Hirsch submitted the project idea.
In the months ahead, Hirsch and his students will work on a project to address congestion of traffic during tsunami evacuations by working with local agencies to identify multiple evacuation routes as well as ways to inform the community about evacuation procedures.
“In terms of the education piece, they echoed an idea from high school kids of getting evacuation symbols painted on the highway,” Hirsch said.
The students’ presentation may include developing global information systems to identify evacuation routes and determining ways to increase community participation in emergency drills. “A lot of it is getting up the hill without using cars,” Hirsch said. “Because if everybody tries to drive, that turns into gridlock.”
Project criteria include identifying problems within the community that could benefit from the use of technology. Students must now put together an action plan, he said, defining the project, how it’s going to involve science and technology, community benefit and student involvement, Hirsch said.
Out of thousands of schools that entered the contest, the 250 state finalist classrooms — 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 tablet for their classrooms and have the opportunity to advance through future phases of the contest to win additional prizes and educational opportunities.
The state finalist schools were chosen based on their creative and strategic proposals to solve complicated issues that affect their communities by using STEM learning.
Along with Broadway Middle School, the Seaside School District is joined by Yoncalla High School; Waldo Middle School, Salem; South Salem Senior High; and George Middle School, Portland.
State winners will be selected to submit a video of their project in action. For achieving state winner status, 40 of those schools will receive a $20,000 Samsung technology package, including a Samsung video kit to produce their video. The other 10 will progress as a national finalist
Ten national finalists will be selected to attend a pitch event where they will present their project to a panel of judges. For achieving national finalist status, seven schools will receive a $50,000 Samsung technology package. The other three will progress to the national winner stage.
Three national winners will be selected, and each will receive $100,000 in classroom Samsung technology and supplies.
With $2 million in technology on the line, the state finalists will submit a lesson plan detailing how students will execute the proposed STEM project and how it address the identified community issue.
“If we’re selected to go to the next round, we’ll start meeting in January to create the systems and solve the problems we are coming up with,” Hirsch said.