Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Five individuals, including a student from South Hamilton, Mass., and five teams of high school students will compete at MIT this Saturday in the New England regional Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, a scholarship and awards program of the Siemens Foundation.
The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, in its inaugural year, was created by the Siemens Foundation to promote and advance math and science 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. Members of the MIT community are invited to the students' presentations, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, in Room 6-120.
The New England regional finalists, whose entries span mathematics, biology, environmental science, physics, computer science and chemistry, will present their independent research projects to a panel of MIT judges.
The judges are Leslie Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum; Maurice S. Fox, professor of biology; Maria Zuber, professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences; Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor and MacVicar Teaching Fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and David Vogan, professor and department head of mathematics. Student projects are judged on originality, creativity, academic rigor and clarity of communication.
"Few things are more important than to encourage and reward study and accomplishment in science, mathematics and technology among young people," said MIT President Charles M. Vest. "This is the key to future discovery and innovation in our society, which in turn will drive our economy and enable us to improve our quality of life, health and environment."
Competitions in six regions across the United States are being held in October and November. The six individuals and six teams of finalists will go on to compete in Washington, D.C., in December for a top individual scholarship prize of $100,000. Members of the top team will share a $90,000 scholarship.
Regional competitions, which are co-administered by Siemens, the College Board and the Educational Testing Service, have been held at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley. The University of Notre Dame competition is being held on Nov. 12-13. Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin will host their competitions Nov. 19-20.
The individual winner of the New England regional finalists will receive an award of $20,000; members of the winning regional team will share a prize of $30,000. All of the prize money will be applied toward the winning students' undergraduate or graduate education.
The New England regional finalists and their respective categories of competition are:
ALLAN CO, Suffern High School; Suffern NY (Environmental Science, individual)
NATHANIEL DUCA, Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School; South Hamilton, MA (Computer Science, individual)
LISA HARRIS, Dalton School; New York, NY (Biology, individual)
TINA SHIH, Townsend Harris High School/Queens College; Flushing NY (Physics, individual)
JOAKIM VINBERG, Manhasset High School; Manhasset NY (Biology, individual)
AUDRA SELVAGGIO, Smithtown High School; Smithtown, NY (Environmental Science, team leader)
ELICIA SELVAGGIO, Smithtown High School; Smithtown, NY (member, Selvaggio team)
JAMES LEE, Roslyn High School; Roslyn, NY (Math, team leader)
MATTHEW WHITE, Roslyn High School, Roslyn, NY (member, Lee team)
JIMMY CHEUNG, Stuyvesant High School; New York, NY (Math, team leader)
CHUNG-KIT CHAN, Stuyvesant High School; New York, NY (member, Cheung team)
ALEKSEY GOLOVINSKIY, Stuyvesant High School; New York, NY (member, Cheung team)
JON CALLUZZO, Manhasset High School; Manhasset, NY (Biology, team leader)
EDWARD KIM, Manhasset High School; Manhasset, NY (member, Calluzzo team)
WEI WANG, Stuyvesant High School; New York, NY (Chemistry, team leader)
KUNAL AMRUTE, Stuyvesant High School; New York, NY (member, Wang team)
During the two-day regional event at MIT, the institution will host the student competitors and their chaperones at on-campus activities and tours of university laboratories and facilities. Others, whose entries in the regional competition drew commendation, will be invited, as will teachers and students from local Boston high schools.
The Siemens Foundation provides scholarships for students gifted in science, mathematics and technology-related disciplines. Established in 1998 to promote and support educational activities, the Siemens Foundation recognizes and supports America's most promising math and science students and teachers, as well as schools that are doing the most to promote education in the hard sciences.
In the U.S., Siemens is an industry leader in telecommunications; energy and power; lighting and precision materials; industry and automation; and healthcare, and a key player in microelectronics and components; transportation; information systems and other products.