South Central Interior Distance Education School (SCIDES) students from Venables Valley, a small community near Ashcroft, have an idea for a year-round greenhouse that has earned them a semi-finalist spot in the cross-Canada Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge.

The challenge asks students to research a local problem, then create solution to that problem using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They are to document their progress on video, and edit that into a final submission.

There are about 15 students involved in the project said SCIDES senior science teacher Gareth Tilt, though four senior students will lead the project in the final stage.

“I would love to take credit for the idea, but this was truly a student led initiative.” —SCIDES teacher Gareth Tilt

“The greenhouse will be kept warm by running water through pipes surrounded by composting materials such as woodchips, sawdust and hay that will give off heat as they break down naturally,” said Tilt in an email to the Herald. “By using the differences in water temperature in combination with the variations in height of their input and output hoses, in theory the water should also circulate itself without the need for a pump.”

Because they only have until March 7 to complete the project and submit the video, they’re going to build a smaller-scale model to test their theory.

“I would love to take credit for the idea, but this was truly a student led initiative,” said Tilt, who signed up to be the supervising teacher on the project.

Just by making it this far, the class has earned $1,200 in technology for use in creating the video.

In total there are 55 semi-finalists across Canada, and five in B.C. Eleven prize-winning finalists will be awarded $20,000 in classroom technology. Two of those will compete for two grand prizes of $50,000 in Samsung equipment.