December 21, 2017
By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
A team from Central Magnet School has won a $25,000 technology package from Samsung after being named the sole winner from Tennessee in the company’s nationwide, $2 million competition for STEAM skills.
STEAM is an education term that represents courses in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
The Central team led by engineering teacher Marc Guthrie was previously one of three Rutherford County Schools’ finalists from Tennessee. A team from Siegel Middle School led by teacher Katie Harris and another team from Central led by teacher Gene Cowart were also previously named as statewide finalists for Tennessee in the contest.
Guthrie has been working with two of his seniors – Jaden Hicks and Manning Self – to develop a system to capture emissions from vehicles using technology similar to what is used to capture carbon in manufacturing plants.
The team will now proceed to the third phase of the competition to hopefully become one of the national winners.
“Stage three of the competition involves building and testing our device,” Guthrie said. “We have until February 13, 2018, to build, test and document our findings on video.
“The video will be three minutes long and will document how (STEAM) was used to create our device. We are working with Dr. Ngee Chong at MTSU to develop the activated charcoal that will be housed in the device, and we have planned visits to Nissan and Calsonic Kansei to speak with their engineers and get some insight on how we might want to proceed in making the device.”
Guthrie’s team will be competing against 50 other schools from across the United States, he said.
“If we win one of the top 10 spots, we will take a trip to Samsung to pitch our idea to their judges and hope to become one of the top three winners and win additional technology for our school,” he added.
Once selected, all three national grand prize winners will receive a $150,000 Samsung technology package.