Skip to Content

Local school wins prize money in competition

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Harvest Preparatory Academy recently won $12,000 for Samsung equipment after placing first in the Solve for Tomorrow STEM Competition.

The school's winning idea is a salad bowl lid that uses Ultra Violet-C technology to prevent E. Coli outbreaks.

“Ever since 2006, we found out that there’s been an E. Coli outbreak caused by consuming contaminated salad which includes Romain Lettuce and one of the major products that we have here in Yuma is Romain Lettuce,” said Alfred Santos, STEM Program Coordinator and Research Teacher.

Harvest Prep was chosen out of 300 schools nationwide. 

The competition is meant to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“We know that STEM is such a critical skill set to have both studying and for career path and so we wanted to, at Sam sung, really ignite those two passion points for the importance for students who they might not see it today that connection with social change and STEM.,” said Ann Woo, Head of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung.

The project and the competition are special for the students who participated in the event.

“This just feels amazing in general like I’ve never experienced something like this I have gone to competitions but winning something like this for not just me but for everyone feel amazing and we could probably give more to science for this,” said Mercedes Castro, student and team member at Harvest Prep.

"A lot of our community has agricultural workers and whenever an E. Coli outbreak happens a lot of the individuals that work in the fields they lose their income, their housing... just because of the chance that somebody might get a sickness from the E. Coli in the lettuce," said Ashley Valencia, another student and team member at Harvest Prep.

Each state has one competition winner.

There will be a final 10 selected in late March, with each being awarded a prize package of  $50,000.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Eduardo Morales

Eduardo Morales joined KYMA as a reporter in September 2023. If you have any story ideas or tips, email him at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content