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Samsung Australia names winners of nationwide STEM contest
Thu, 15th Feb 2024

Samsung Australia has announced the winners of their nationwide STEM competition, 'Solve for Tomorrow'. This competition uniquely engages young Australians aged between 14 and 24 to utilise their multifaceted skills in science and technology to address their passionate issues in a creative manner.

The major prize of the competition has been won by Perth-based Team ORS, composed of Michael Nefiodovas, Conor Bennett, Karam Thethy, Celine Wang, Peter Tanner, Jack Sun, Oliver Cheng, Arthur Caspelherr, Katrina Yan, and Filip Najdovski. Their inventive solution addresses the significant problem of pesticide overuse in agriculture with a device that assists farmers to gather and analyse data regarding pest populations.

This preventive measure aims to reduce the quantity of applied pesticides. Winning the top prize, Team ORS has been rewarded with $10,000 to further develop their innovative idea. The device's objective is to help farmers balance crop protection and ecological responsibility by making informed decisions on pesticide application.

Reacting to the victory, Team ORS expressed their delight, "Our inspiration stemmed from the deep connection Australian farmers have with their environment and the rising public demand for sustainability. The recognition will allow us to advance our solution, accelerating its translation into a real farm environment.”

The runner-up awards for the 19-to-24-year-old and the 14-to-18-year-old categories have been given to two unique innovations. Sydney-based Amelie Ritchie and Harlen Postill have won for their inventive mobile app, Petal Path. The app uses a community gamification feature to help plot the best route for those using wheelchairs or mobility aids.

"More than 180,000 Australian wheelchair users face increased difficulty when navigating paths and roads in poor condition. We hope our innovation will go a long way in helping those living with a physical disability find the most accessible way of reaching their destination safely," stated Amelie and Harlen.

The second runner-up innovation was chosen in the younger age bracket. The Melbournian high school students, Flynn, Mikey, and George have presented an eco-friendly logistics network "Sustainabili-tree", designed to recycle old Christmas trees into the next year's wrapping paper. Flynn, George, and Mikey shared, "Our recycling network is a two-tiered solution to help reduce waste while also increasing the joy of sustainability at Christmas time."

Brett Turnbull, Director of Corporate Marketing at Samsung Electronics Australia, appreciated the participants’ passion, "Our research shows young Australians are a purpose-driven generation, and that’s come through in the entries this year with the diversity of topics participants tackled and the passion behind their ideas." Both runners-up teams also have been given $5,000 each to proceed to their next steps towards actualising their ideas.

Launched in 2021, the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition has encouraged hundreds of students to foster their STEM passion and pursue a career in the industry by providing them a platform to propel their ideas forward.