Patchogue-Medford High School's AP Environmental Science Class taught by Dr. Robert Borowski has placed in the top five out of 1100 entries in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest.
The high school will be awarded an $80,000 technology and grant package.
The award ceremony for the top five schools took place at the Samsung Experience in Manhattan on Thursday, and featured appearances by Samsung executives and recording artist John Legend.
West Salem High School from Oregon took the grand prize of $155,000 in technology for their entry on renewable energy sources.
Borowski said that the experience was invaluable for his students, several of which spent the week traveling to Washington, DC with the Samsung corporation for a tour of the capital and other sights before heading back to Manhattan for the award ceremony.
“It really opened their eyes,” Borowski said. He said that his students discovered that learning a skill is how they will be able to succeed.
Schools that entered the contest initially applied to Samsung by detailing a project that students were working on. From the initial 1100, 50 were chosen to receive video equipment packages to make a video. From this, 10 were selected as nationwide finalists that were judged and ranked by both a judging panel and online voting.
Patchogue-Medford High School that documents the students testing water conditions in local rivers and streams to find the effectiveness of the new Patchogue wastewater treatment facility.
Paul Pontieri, mayor of the village of Patchogue, attended the event and mentioned that the students’ work on Patchogue’s water system is helping the community.
“Hopefully if we reduce toxicity it will open up more acreage,” Pontieri said.
By , PMHS was guaranteed the first prize of $80,000 in technology that will be given to the school.
For senior Angelica Berrios, being a part of the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“How many times can I say I won $80,000 for my school, been on the news and met John Legend,” Berrios said.
Michael Locantore, Superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District, said that the students did win a grand prize with their effort.
“The concept and ideas are incredible,” Locantore said.