• A student presents her research at last year's competition.

    Justin Knight

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Siemens high school contest to be held on campus


A total of 11 high school students--three two-person teams and five individuals--will compete at MIT this week in the New England regional finals of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

The contestants are from Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, Maine and Virginia.

Two regional finalists who have MIT connections have been reassigned to other regions. Brian Liau, son of Lincoln Lab staff member Zong-Long Liau, will compete at Carnegie-Mellon University; Steven Byrnes, whose father is Jonathan Byrnes, a senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering, will compete at Georgia Tech.

The New England finals, in which the high school students present their original scientific research, technological inventions and mathematical theories to a panel of MIT judges, will be held on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9. The MIT community is invited to observe the presentations on Friday at 3:05 p.m. in Room 6-120 and Saturday at 9 a.m.

"This will be my fourth year judging the competition here at MIT," said Les Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum at MIT. "I and the other MIT judges are impressed every year by the Siemens-Westinghouse contestants. They are smart kids doing real science, sometimes in university labs but sometimes in their basement with a soldering iron."

Each winner of the regional finals will receive a silver medal and a $3,000 college scholarship and go on to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. Each runner-up receives a bronze medal and a $1,000 scholarship.

Past winners have created a computerized glove that translates sign language into text, designed a robot to rescue people who have fallen through ice, identified the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis and contributed many other important discoveries in medicine, mathematics, computer technology, physics and astronomy.


Topics: Contests and academic competitions

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