ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - UPDATE 4/11/18 @ 1:15 p.m.
A middle school class from eastern Kentucky is the winner of a national contest.
It was announced Wednesday that the 8th graders from Ashland Middle School won the grand prize of a $150,000 technology grant from Samsung.
They competed in Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest in New York City.
The contest gets groups of students to use science, technology, engineering, arts and math to address a real-world problem they see in their community and come up with a solution.
The local students chose the heroin epidemic that is gripping the nation and has roots firmly planted in our region. Among the things they worked on is a prototype for a device that allows the user to pick up needles from a safe distance and lock the needle inside before being disposed of.
It has been a busy week for some Ashland Middle School students who are among 10 finalists in a national contest.
They're among the final contenders in Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest in New York City.
The young engineers were pitching their idea to help first responders stay safe in the field when dealing with dirty needles -- a story we reported last month. The students built a device to pick up used needles, without the first responders ever touching the syringe.
The winners will be announced live on national television.
Eighth-graders from Ashland Middle School already have won $50,000 worth of technology from Samsung for their school. If they win the grand prize, the school receives a $150,000 technology grant from Samsung.