2017: ALABAMA, COLORADO, AND NEW YORK STUDENTS WIN REGIONAL SIEMENS COMPETITION AT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
The Siemens Competition, launched in 1999 by the Siemens Foundation, increases access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens. The competition, administered by Discovery Education, develops a pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
Kenneth discovered a new role of the gene and its molecular processes that could link to breast cancer metastasis, which occurs when cancer cells spread from a primary site to distant organs. His research could lead to an improved molecular understanding of the growth and prognosis of breast cancer, as well as better methods of developing treatments for patients with breast cancer.
Kenneth was inspired to pursue his research after his mother had a breast cancer scare a few years ago and he “felt the patients’ vulnerability and their families’ desperation.” Kenneth serves on student government, runs cross country for his high school’s varsity team, and founded his school’s Science Olympiad Team. Ken is an avid chess player, ranked 28th in Alabama, and guided his school’s chess team as its captain to first place at the Alabama Scholastic State Championships twice. Kenneth received 3rd Place Grand Prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Kenneth’s mentor is Dr. Lizhong Wang of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.
Chelsea, Rachel, and Jainil developed a novel gel compound that acts as a barrier, preventing gum tissue from invading the bone tissue affected by gum disease, allowing guided regeneration of the bone surrounding the tooth root.
People with advanced periodontitis are at risk of bone loss and tooth loss, which in some cases can be reversed with regenerative procedures. The team’s research presents a promising new method for guided bone regeneration, a procedure in which surgically placed barrier materials prevent cells from the inflamed gum to enter the area of the damaged bone, allowing bone regeneration by osteoblast (bone cells) repopulation.
Chelsea, a senior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, CO, is the president of her school’s Science Olympiad team and is a two-time national medalist, finishing 3rd and 4th at the Science Olympiad National Tournament. She serves as secretary of the Science National Honor Society and secretary of the Future Business Leaders of America, winning the state competition for Global Business. Chelsea works actively to engage elementary and middle school-aged kids involved in STEM, and was inspired to conduct her research after seeing family members suffer from periodontitis.
The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship.
Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
- Charles Hutchison, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Ridgeland, MS
- Michael Ma, Plano West Senior High School, Plano, TX
- Abhishek Mohan, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, TX
- George Wang, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK
- Brandon Chen, Plano West Senior High School, Plano, TX, Andrew Lu, Westwood High School, Austin, TX, and Claire Zhou, Clements High School, Sugar Land, TX
- Sahil Patel, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, TX and Steven Sun, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
- Kshitij Sachan, Plano East Senior High School, Plano, TX, and Yesh Doctor, Plano East Senior High School, Plano, TX
- David Yue, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, TX, and Charles Rothkrug, St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, TX
For the 2017 Siemens Competition, 1,860 projects were submitted for consideration. 491 students were named Semifinalists from which 101 were named Regional Finalists. For the regional finals, the students present their research in a closed, online forum, and entries are judged by esteemed scientific experts at six leading research universities which host the regional competitions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 4); University of Notre Dame (November 4); The University of Texas at Austin (November 11); California Institute of Technology (November 11); and Georgia Institute of Technology (November 18); and Carnegie Mellon University (November 18).
The winners of each regional weekend will be announced at 12 noon (ET) on the following Monday at http://siemensusa.synapticdigital.com/US/Siemens-Foundation.
Winners of the regional events will advance to the National Finals to be held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., December 4-5, 2017, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including the two top prizes of $100,000 and one of the most prestigious science honors awarded to high school students in the country today. Every finalist will receive at least $25,000 in scholarship money.
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Bridget DeSimoneBurnessUnited Statesbdesimone@burness.com301-280-5735
Betty ChoSiemens FoundationUnited Stateselizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org
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