KALAMAZOO — Comstock STEM Academy in Kalamazoo won an estimated $20,000 in technology after winning the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest.
The national contest encourages teachers and students to solve a problem in their community through STEM, short for science, technology, engineering and math. One school is chosen in each state.
The sixth-grade students and their teacher addressed homelessness in Kalamazoo by proposing a new invention. Their idea, the solar sunroof, is a hat with a solar panel on top, that is also wired with electronic hand warmers.
The plan is to provide the hats to the thousands of people who are homeless in Kalamazoo County.
Students are also exploring other panel placements for backpacks, vests and shoes.
"The scale and importance of the issues addressed in this year's contest reflect how students are taking responsibility for their role as change agents for the future," said Ann Woo, senior director of corporate citizenship at Samsung Electronics America.
This accomplishment will enter the Comstock STEM Academy students into additional competitions, with the potential of winning up to $100,000 in technology.