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Five Texas high school students among 73 students competing nationwide in Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition

Thirty individual high school students and 18 student teams from around the country are participating in the regional competitions of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition. The University of Texas at Austin is hosting one of six regional competitions, scheduled Friday through Sunday (Nov. 17-19) at the Joe C. Thompson Conference Center. Five Texas students are competing.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Thirty individual high school students and 18 student teams from around the country are participating in the regional competitions of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition. The University of Texas at Austin is hosting one of six regional competitions, scheduled Friday through Sunday (Nov. 17-19) at the Joe C. Thompson Conference Center. Five Texas students are competing.

Created last year by the non-profit Siemens Foundation, the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition promotes and advances science, technology and mathematics education in the United States. It is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences, or mathematics.

Regional scholarship winners will go to Washington, D.C., Dec. 9-11, to compete for a top individual scholarship prize of $100,000. The Texas students, all competing as individuals, include:

  • Samuel Chang, the Science Academy of Austin at Lyndon Baines Johnson High School, is exploring new approaches to treating drug-resistant breast cancer.
  • Chandan Das, Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, has researched the role of thioredoxin in protecting cells from oxidative damage, a factor in various diseases.
  • Haley Hagg of Corpus Christi, who attends the Texas Academy Math and Science in Denton, will present a project on the production of the anticancer antibiotic fumagillin.
  • Ketul (Krish) Parikh of Dallas, Texas Academy Math and Science, has explored conductive polymer interactions with silicon surfaces for future use in microelectronics applications.
  • Shaun Stewart of Sherman, Texas Academy Math and Science, is focusing on layered double hydroxide clays and their potential involvement with the origins of life.

The Siemens Foundation has been working with UT Austin and five other universities to assist in judging and hosting the regional competitions, including the University of Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Panels of scientists and university faculty serve as judges at the regional and national competitions, under the direction of the College Board and the Educational Testing Service, which is partnering with the Siemens Foundation to administer the competition.

“These leading research universities inherently understand the need for rigorous coursework in the sciences and mathematics — from as early as grade school through the university level,” said Albert Hoser, chairman and CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Our university partners are dedicated to delivering the knowledge and skills necessary for students to succeed as workers and professionals in a challenging and technologically advanced environment.”

Hoser added that “these are the very skills that enhance U.S. competitiveness worldwide, and help make Siemens a key player in the global arena.”

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. Prize money will be applied toward the winning students’ undergraduate or graduate education.

The Siemens Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships and increasing access to higher education for students gifted in the sciences, mathematics and technology-related disciplines. Established in 1998 to promote and support educational activities, the Siemens Foundation recognizes and supports America’s most promising science and mathematics students and teachers, as well as schools that are doing the most to promote education in the hard sciences.

Its mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational involvement and support that is a hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. operating companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.

For more information, contact Meredyth Jensen of the Siemens Foundation (212) 258-4510, or akey@hillandknowlton.com For information about the Siemens Foundation and the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, please visit their Web site at www.siemens-foundation.org