Union City's James Logan High School chosen as finalist in Samsung STEM competition

UNION CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Solving the problems of tomorrow is the premise behind a national competition aimed at getting more teenagers interested in STEM-related careers. Now, the results are in and some Union City students are among the finalists.

Inside a classroom at James Logan High School, future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians assemble.

Last fall, students in the school's Mission Valley Automotive Technology program designed what they say is the first-ever, student-built, electric vehicle solar charging station.

"This class is really making a difference in the world, and opening peoples' eyes to things," said Shaneel Narayan, a James Logan High School senior.

Although electric vehicles don't create emissions while in use, the electricity used to charge these vehicles is primarily derived from a dependency on fossil fuels.

Teacher Ebadut Mohamed challenged his students to come up with a better alternative.

"All the math, the construction, the wiring, very complex principles of STEM, they were all a part of that," Mohamed said.

Sensing an educational opportunity Mohamed entered the project in Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow" contest Encouraging students to illustrate the power of STEM to solve practical, real-world issues affecting their community.

"Once we found out about the competition, we had three to four weeks, so having to stay after certain class periods, working on this, trying to make it before the deadline, it did take a toll on some of the students," Narayan said.

After pitching their project to Samsung in New York this week, the school was named one of 15 finalists out of more than 4,100 entries nationwide. Five schools will receive a $120,000 technology grant that will be announced next month.

"This is something that will stay with me forever, and to see it actually work, and for people to come together, it's just a really amazing experience," said Nick Mackin, a Logan High School junior.

Social media is a major component of how Samsung will determine the winners. Click here to learn more about how you can help the students win.
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