Downers Grove South students, teacher win $12,000 Samsung prize package

Students won Illinois ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ contest

South High School students Ted Dulles, Alan Kwak, Taran Sooranahalli, and South High teacher Brandy Palmerin, were named the state winner for Illinois in the 2022-2023 Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest.

Downers Grove South High School students Ted Dulles, Alan Kwak and Taran Sooranahalli, along with their teacher Brandy Palmerin, were named state winner for Illinois in the 2022-23 Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest.

The competition challenges students to explore the role science, technology, engineering and mathematics can play in solving some of the world’s most pressing issues.

“What I love most about this competition is that students use their passion for engineering to develop a STEM-based solution to help solve a pressing problem impacting our society,” Palmerin, Project Lead the Way teacher at Downers Grove South, said in a news release. “Through the competition, my students have been empowered to design, develop and evaluate a practical solution for a real-world problem, an opportunity they might not have had otherwise, and it will help to continue to foster my students’ enthusiasm and growth for engineering.”

The students focused on the societal problem of date rape, citing information from the U.S. Office on Women’s Health that almost 11 million women in the U.S. have been raped while drunk, drugged or high. The most common date rape drugs are clear liquids that cannot be seen if mixed with a drink. Using chemistry, engineering and math, the team created detailed plans to develop a product that changes colors to identify whether a drink is spiked.

As part of the win, the students will receive a $12,000 prize package, including products and classroom resources, plus the opportunity to work with a Samsung employee mentor.

Visit the Samsung website to learn more about its “Solve for Tomorrow” contest at For information on Project Lead the Way, go to the South High Career and Technical Education website at

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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