SCIENCE REPORT- Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition

By Nancy Steinbach

This is the VOA Special English SCIENCE REPORT.

A seventeen-year-old girl has won first prize in the Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition. Mariangela Lisanti is a student at Staples High School in the eastern city of Westport, Connecticut. She developed technology that is an important step in the process of creating extremely small electronic devices. This could lead to faster computers, medical devices implanted in the body and small robot systems for space exploration.

The Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition awards a top prize of one-hundred-thousand dollars to one individual and one team. Three students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham shared the top team prize for their astrophysics project. Charles Olbert, Christopher Clearfield and Nikolas Williams used information from the new NASA Chandra X-ray telescope. They discovered a new pulsar wake. Only three pulsar wakes have ever been seen. Experts say their work has already changed existing scientific ideas.

The Siemens Foundation joined with the College Board and six universities to start the competition two years ago. Experts from the universities judge competitions in six areas of the country. The individual and team winners in those areas compete in a national contest in Washington, D. C. They demonstrate their research projects to a group of university professors and scientists from national laboratories. The top winners were chosen last month.

The Siemens Foundation created the competition to improve student involvement in mathematics and science in the United States. One Siemens official said the Foundation increased the amount of prize money for young scientists to pay most of their college costs. The contest is open to American high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences, or mathematics.

The Siemens Corporation is one of the largest electrical engineering and electronics companies in the world. The company designs, develops and manufactures electrical and electronic systems for several industries. It has more than four-hundred-thousand employees around the world.

This VOA Special English SCIENCE REPORT was written by Nancy Steinbach.

Voice of America Special English