Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks is $25,000 richer thanks to an educational competition ran by Samsung; they could potentially win thousands more. 

Thousands of schools from across the nation applied for the Solve Tomorrow Contest. The program encourages teachers and students in grades 6 through 12 to solve real-world issues in their community using science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). 

Interior Alaska residents are subject to unsafe air quality issues because of the use of wood stoves and boilers during the winter months. So, Tanana teacher, Linda Cozzini-McKirgan, and her students worked on designing pollution data collection boxes to understand the air quality in their neighborhoods.

The school was one of the 51 state winners, including the District of Colombia, to receive $25,000 in Samsung technology to produce a presentation of their creation. Samsung will then pick 10 national finalists to receive $50,000 in school technology and trip to pitch their event. 

Tanana has two weeks remaining to work on their project, as they hope to advance in the contest and be named one of 10 national finalists and receive a total of $50,000 in technology. Ultimately, Samsung will announce three national winners in early April who will each receive a $150,000 technology grant for their school. Of those 10 finalists, a Community Choice winner will be chosen to win an additional $15,000 in technology for their school. 

The acronym STEM was recently updated to STEAM, which includes the arts to drive innovation in the science fields. Tanana students used the "art" during their design phase to draw, build and customize their project. 

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