Invention STEMs from KIPP imagination

KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate students Serene Porte, Ismael Diaz Mateo, and Leia Payano with their teacher, Allen Wang, are Massachusetts State winners in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNN — If all goes well, Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter school students could be standing before Congress explaining their new invention.

Team members Ismael Diaz Mateo, Leia Payano (both 12th graders), and Serena Porte (11th grade) along with KIPP engineering teacher and Science Department Chair Allen Wang are already partway to achieving their goal.

Selected from thousands of entries nationwide, the KIPP team has been named a Massachusetts State winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.

“I am really excited and happy that we were named a state winner
because now we can finally have our plan come to fruition,” Porte said in a statement provided by KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate.

The students and Wang are keeping their invention deliberately cloaked in mystery. But they are using inexpensive and recyclable materials to design a practical device that students can use in the cold and dark winter months for additional safety.

The win ranks the team among 100 state winners nationwide. KIPP will receive $15,000 in technology for its achievement. In addition, the school will also receive a Samsung video kit for students to create and submit a three-minute video that showcases their project development and how it addresses the issue.

The video will be used for the chance to advance to the next phase of the contest and win additional prizes and educational opportunities. Twenty National Finalists will be selected and awarded a total of $50,000 in technology and classroom materials, and will present their projects to a panel of judges.

Five grand prize National Winners will receive a total of $100,000 in classroom materials and technology and will travel to Washington, D.C. to present their projects to members of Congress.

“Our young innovators and designers have been thinking deeply about this challenge in our community and will be working very hard to create prototypes in the next couple of months,” Wang said.

The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Samsung is extremely proud of the evolution of the Solve for Tomorrow platform over the past 10 years: fueling students’ passion and curiosity to tackle issues that affect their communities in unexpected and creative ways,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at

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