Fundraising underway for Samsung project

Jon Alexander, a senior at Marquette Senior High School, watches a 3-D printer work Friday at the Makerspace at the high school. The school is entered into the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

MARQUETTE — A crowdsourcing fundraiser has been set up for Marquette Area Public Schools to help with a nationwide technology competition.

MAPS grant writer Sara Cambensy and Marquette Senior High School science teacher Rebecca Simmons have written a state-level winning grant in the nationwide Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” competition.

The win entitles MAPS to receive a $25,000 package of Samsung technology to support their efforts, which are aimed at providing students the resources to study alternative energy. For MAPS, it will probably be solar energy.

Cambensy said they have officially launched its fundraising web page, which already has garnered $300. The link is www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/building-steam-at-marquette-area-public-schools.

The fundraising is a condition of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, she said.

“The purpose is to gain awareness among community members and bring awareness to the importance of the issue of energy independence and alternative energy integration in our community beyond coal,” Cambensy said.

The additional funding will help support materials for a MAPS Makerspace Solar Lab that the competition money doesn’t cover, she said. Those materials include solar, 3-D modeling, robotics and general Makerspace equipment for student learning in STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Cambensy stressed that any size donation is acceptable and will help, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to MAPS to maintain and build its Makerspace and STEAM programming.

At Makerspace, which is located at Marquette Senior High School, students work in STEAM activities.

Cambensy and Simmons were chosen among other entrants in Michigan for the initial Samsung grants. They next must submit a video by Feb. 14 that explains their vision. On or about Feb. 21, 10 finalists from the state will be chosen to receive $50,000 each and advance to the national finals.

Three national winners will be awarded $150,000 each, among other prizes, with a $20,000 bonus for winning the Community Choice prize.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.