News / USA

US High School Students Shine in Prestigious Science Competition

Top 2011 winner Angela Zhang with Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens Corporation.
Top 2011 winner Angela Zhang with Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens Corporation.
Chris Simkins

Twenty U.S. high school students were in Washington, D.C., this week squaring off in one of the nation’s premier science research contests.

The prize: a half million dollars in college scholarship awards. It wasn't just prize money, however, motivating these Math, Science and Technology contestants.

These young competitors hope their innovations will make a positive difference in the world.  

Andrew Xu is one of America’s rising young scientists. His mathematical equations are designed to enhance the performance of Internet communications and social networking sites like Facebook.

“Our project has the potential to improve the efficiency of such networks. And this is important because as networks become larger and larger, improving efficiency could mean saving costs,” said Xu.

Xu and 19 other high school students are finalists in the Siemens Foundation Annual Math, Science and Technology Competition in Washington. Each of the contestants hopes the judges will decide that his or her project is the most innovative and scientifically important.

John Solder invented ways light can be used to treat people with brain injuries and disorders like Alzheimer’s.

“And you have a fiber optic cable coming into the prefrontal cortex, where I was telling you disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases can occur. So what you can do is get these light sensitive channels within the neuron itself, and using the light you can stimulate those neurons and help restore the function of the brain that you lost,” said Solder.

Seventeen year-old Cassee Cain and Ziyuan Liu won top honors in the team competition. They're sharing a $100,000 college scholarship for their bioengineering project.

They discovered how an inexpensive [Kinect] motion sensor and the popular X-Box 360 video gaming console can be used to improve the gait, or walking movements, of amputees.

“What we are really hoping to do is to give this affordable, portable and accessible system to the public in rural areas where they don’t have access to million-dollar gait labs,” said Cain.

Julia Crowley-Farenga and her teammate won third place for their research on how galaxies evolve. Julia wants to inspire more young people to follow in her footsteps.

“I worked with third-grade students after school for a science project, and it is really cool to see them and hope that they will one day go into science studies in high school. So I think it is about getting science into the minds of kids at a young age,” said Crowley-Farenga.

This year's highest individual science honor and a $100,000 scholarship went to Angela Zhang for her research on how cancer cells stimulate the growth of tumors. Now she and the other winners in the Siemens Foundation competition are well on their way to driving tomorrow's breakthroughs in science and technology.



You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs