After becoming one of five state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, Hudson’s Bay High School horticulture teacher Steve Lorenz recently was named the Washington state winner. The 30-year teaching veteran receives a technology package valued at $20,000 to create a video showcasing his solution.

Lorenz and his students in the school’s Architecture, Construction and Environmental Sciences program and Future Farmers of America are working to reclaim paper and cardboard waste by inoculating it with mushroom mycelia. The mycelia will decompose the waste and produce mushrooms that can be used for growing kits, as food additives or for large-scale recycling.

From the state winners, 15 national finalists will be selected and will have their videos placed online for public voting. All national finalists receive a minimum of $35,000 in technology for their schools.

Finally, the 15 national finalists will be narrowed down to five national winners, who each will receive a $120,000 technology grant.

The Solve for Tomorrow contest honors teachers who inspire students; improve their communities; and foster science, technology, engineering and math education in their schools.