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Saxe Middle School STEM students are state champions

State victory advances Saxe Middle School STEM students into national competition
of Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest


Saxe STEM Students


A proposal based on a project being undertaken by a group of Saxe Middle School 7th and 8th grade STEM students and entered into the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest was recently chosen one of the top entries in the United States.


Earlier this month, Samsung announced that Saxe Middle School’s project proposal was chosen best in Connecticut and will advance to the national competition. The Saxe team’s idea focuses on developing a wearable technology solution that allows one to navigate Saxe – the largest middle school in the state - without the need of personal assistance.


The Saxe Middle School team of students, pictured above, consists of Kailin Downey, Alexandra McManus, Lily Auerbach, and Anav Sahay (seated, left-right); and Alexandra Gelvin, Alex Dathan, Gustav Neubohn and Ben Skrelunas (standing, left-right). Not shown, Sophia Lee. The team is led by Saxe STEM teacher Vivian Birdsall, who submitted the proposal, as contest rules required.


“Propelled by the far-reaching applications of their ideas and inspired by a visually impaired student, Saxe STEM students and their teacher entered into the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and are now in the third round of the competition,” said Saxe Middle School Principal David Gusitsch. “They have advanced to the national competition and will be submitting a video of their project in the next phase of the contest.”


Every state finalist was awarded a Samsung Galaxy Video Kit worth $1500 and will be receiving at least an additional $20,000 in Samsung products before the contest is over. In the next phase of the competition, judges will select ten National Finalists’ videos from the fifty entries and announce the ten National Finalists on Monday, March 4, 2019. The forty other entries will be awarded $20,000 worth of Samsung products and exit the contest.


Samsung is also offering a Community Choice Award in which all ten National Finalists’ videos will be displayed and will participate in a public voting process. The school with the greatest number of eligible votes will win a $10,000 Samsung technology prize package in addition to the National prize won. Voting, done through social media, will begin on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and end on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. To vote, visit online at


In early April, the ten National Finalists will be invited to present their videos and concepts to a panel of judges. Three National Grand Prize winners will be chosen from this group, and these three winners will each receive $100,000 in Samsung products. The remaining seven finalists will receive $50,000 in Samsung products.


“Although the final stages of the contest require them to finish a prototype of their idea, the STEM group at Saxe has promised to complete the project regardless of the outcome of the contest,” said Mr. Gusitsch. “We applaud all of them for their efforts.”