For the third year in a row, Sumter School District has a middle school class that's been named a top-five state finalist in a national school technology contest.
Recently, Samsung, an international electronics company, announced that a team from …
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Recently, Samsung, an international electronics company, announced that a team from Alice Drive Middle School's eighth-grade Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Global Education class is a state finalist in its Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.
The nationwide competition challenges students in grades 6-12 to apply STEM to find creative solutions to real-world issues affecting their local communities, according to a company news release. With five state finalists in each state, there are a total of 250 state finalists across the U.S.
The classroom teacher at Alice Drive Middle is Marina Mosneaguta, and she submitted the project idea from the eighth-grade team of McKenna Reed, Elena Sevy and Joseph Thomas. Reed is the creator of the project, which will address littering by designing beacon bags along with a tracking application that will inspire students to pick up litter. Mosneaguta said the project will involve computer science, technology, math and business leadership skills.
The state winner, based on best project idea and activity plan, will be named Friday, she said.
It's the second time in three years that a team from Mosneaguta's STEM class has been named a state finalist. This year, she was also a top-three finalist for the district's teacher of the year award.
In 2016, she had a project team that addressed retaining flood water from Swan Lake-Iris Gardens onto Liberty Street. Mosneaguta said that project mostly involved science, math and technology.
Mosneaguta is in her sixth year with the district.
Last year, a team of sixth- and seventh-graders from Hillcrest Middle School in Dalzell was named a top-five state finalist. Under the direction of science teacher Richard Phillips, that team developed an emergency management app using computer code that would notify all the school's stakeholders - from parents to bus drivers to the police - when the school was under emergency procedures, such as sheltering in place during a tornado warning.
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