Regional competition of science and math students kicks off at MIT November 2-4

Eleven finalists will vie for $100,000 in scholarships


Five individuals and three teams of high school students have been selected to compete at MIT for the New England region of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, a leading scholarship and awards program.

The New Jersey-based non-profit Siemens Foundation created the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition to enhance science and mathematics education in America. The competition is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences, or mathematics. Competitions in six regions across the United States (including the New England States) are being held throughout November, 2001; regional scholarship winners will advance to further compete in Washington, D.C., December 1-3, for a top individual scholarship prize of $100,000. Members of the top team will share a $100,000 scholarship.

"The 2001 regional finalists coming to MIT were chosen from over 1000 student applicants nationwide," said Albert Hoser, chairman and CEO of the Siemens Foundation. "These students represent some of the best math and science students nationwide and the Siemens Foundation commends their dedication to the advancement of science and technology."

The Siemens Foundation has partnered with six prestigious institutions to assist in judging and hosting the regional competitions throughout the fall: University of California, Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 2-4); University of Notre Dame and Georgia Institute of Technology (November 9-11); and Carnegie Mellon University and The University of Texas at Austin (November 16-18).

"Promoting science, mathematics and technological excellence throughout all of our educational systems is of critical importance to our society," said Charles Vest, president of MIT. "The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition is an excellent means of accomplishing that. We are particularly pleased to host the competition's regional events at our campus for the third year in a row, as Siemens Corporation has been a strong partner with us on many efforts to develop the enormous talent and creativity of the future scientists and engineers of the 21st century."

The New England States Regional Finalists, whose entries are in subject disciplines spanning mathematics, biology, environmental science, physics, computer science and chemistry, will present their independent research projects to a panel of judges who are faculty members at MIT. The individual regional winner will receive an award of $3,000; members of the winning regional team will share a prize of $3,000. All regional runners-up will each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship with the team runners-up dividing the prize among team members. All of the prize money will be applied toward the winning students' post-secondary education.

Regional finalists were selected from a pool of over 800 projects. The students have been assigned to compete in one of the six regional locations selected by the College Board, the independent administrators of each of the stages in the judging process.

Panels of leading scientists and university faculty serve as judges at the regional and national competitions, under the independent oversight of the College Board and the Educational Testing Service.

The guest speaker at the MIT regional event will be Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute's Center for Genome Research and professor of biology at MIT.

The New England States Finalists and their respective categories of competition are:

Massachusetts

Lele Yu, Commonwealth School, Boston, Mass. (Individual)

Justine Nagurney, Winsor High School, Boston, Mass. (Individual)

Orit Shamir, Lexington High School, Lexington, Mass. (Individual)

Connecticut

Jacob Licht, William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, Conn. (Individual)

Louisiana

Sheena Gurwara and Mary Hanisee, Airline High School, Bossier City, La. (Team)

New York

Mark Herman, John Jay High School, Katonah, N.Y. (Individual)

Sahil Mehta and Maanasa Indaram, The Wheatley School, Old Westbury, N.Y. (Team)

Dora Sosnowik and Shira Billet, Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y. (Team)

Established in 1998 to promote and support educational activities, the Siemens Foundation recognizes America's most promising science and mathematics students and teachers, as well as schools that are doing the most to promote education in the core sciences. Its mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is a hallmark of Siemens' U.S. operating companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.

For more information, please visit www.siemens-foundation.org.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Students

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