Dawes earns state honors in Samsung’s 2023 Solve for Tomorrow Competition

A group of Lincoln Public Schools eighth-grade students put their minds together to solve a community problem for a national competition.

Samsung named Dawes Middle School as Nebraska’s winner for its 2023 Solve for Tomorrow competition, which awarded the school a $12,000 prize.

“It really makes you feel like you’re one of the best,” Dawes team member Calvin said. 

The national contest challenges U.S. public school students in grades 6 through 12 to explore how the role science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can play in solving some of the biggest issues in their local communities. 

“The national STEM competition gives students an experience larger than themselves to help their community,” Dawes teacher Kristin Page said. “I wanted students to use their amazing knowledge and skills to realize they could design and innovate something to help others.”  Page sponsored the students’ project. 

The Dawes team wanted to find a solution to reduce harm and property loss for people and animals during wildfires. The Diamondbacks devised a drone with a laser to mimic what individuals can use for controlled burns. The team worked closely to develop several designs before deciding on the one that helped them take home the state prize. 

“They experienced setbacks and were successful through teamwork and critical thinking,” Page said.

“Everyone else either was able to help or they would bring up interesting ideas,” fellow team member Calder added. 

The experience also allowed the students to connect concepts from the classroom and think about future careers. 

“I think it really shows that STEM - like science and mathematics - can be utilized because we had to use algebra, and separately we were learning every day just to figure out what the drone could do and what we are capable of,” Calvin added. 

“It helped me grow and gave me a bit more experience in civil engineering. I think it also inspired me to do more things,” Calder said. 

This is not the first time Dawes has entered Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow national competition. The school plans to compete again starting with a new team this fall. 


Published: June 1, 2023, Updated: June 1, 2023

Dawes's Samsung Solve for Tomorrow winning team demonstrates their drone invention for helping wildfires through a simulation.