GES students working to solve invasive species in Cook County
Kalli Hawkins

GES students working to solve invasive species in Cook County

The Lynx South 5th & 6th-grade students at Great Expectations School are working together to solve a challenging and growing problem in Cook County.

The students have entered the annual Solve for Tomorrow competition. The competition challenges public school students to explore the role science, technology, engineering, and math can play in addressing some of the biggest issues in their local communities. The competition is designed to engage students in active, hands-on learning that can be applied to real-world problems.

The ambitious 5th & 6th grades at GES have decided the real-world problem they want to solve in our community is: invasive species.

While the contest is competitive and lengthy, the Lynx South classroom has successfully made it to the second round of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. GES is one of only 300 students across the country to make it to this level. The students are working with their teacher, Mindy Jacobsen, and a community member, Joe Drotos, to design an app that allows individuals to document invasive species while recreating outdoors.

The students have submitted plans for the next round of the competition and looking forward to the next phase of the contest. The finalists will advance to additional stages of the competition, culminating in three schools being selected in May as national winners and receiving $100,000 prize packages.

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins visited the Lynx South classroom to learn more about why the students chose invasive species and what they enjoyed about the competition. Audio from the classroom visit is below.