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Seventh graders Luis Co, left, and Eric Gonzalez created this bioreactor to gauge fermentation and the amount of lipids being produced. (Johnson Publications photo)

CCS a state finalist in Samsung’s ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ competition

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    Chase County Schools has been named one of five Nebraska state finalists in the Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” Contest.
    It’s a nationwide competition that challenges students in grades 6-12 to creatively use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to address real-world issues in their communities.
    CCS science teacher Jennifer Gonzalez entered two student projects for the competition.
    The 7th grade team of Eric Gonzalez and Luis Co, and a project by freshman Madelynn Hanes, were entered and made the state finalist list of five.
    “I actually entered without telling the students, so they were very surprised to hear the news last week,” teacher Gonzales said.
    She noted all seventh and eighth graders in her classes are required to design a project for the school’s science fair each year. Several high school students also choose to take part.
    “This year, we opened it up to include engineering projects,” which interested a lot of the students, she said.
    It’s the first time Gonzalez has entered student projects in the Samsung competition, after learning about it through a teachers’ facebook page.
    “I’m super excited,” she said.
    “We’re from a small location, a dot on the map. It’s a great opportunity to show students that no matter where you are from, you have the opportunity to do great things—that we aren’t limited,” she said.
    It’s her hope being a state finalist will inspire other students not to limit themselves, she said.
    Samsung officials say they hope the contest, now in its 10th year, will “spark students’ interest in STEM subjects and civic engagement, while empowering teachers and connecting local communities.”

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