WHAT: Twelve high school science whizzes from around the West, including a Bay Area teen, will vie for top honors at the Western regional finals of the annual Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, being held later this week at the University of California, Berkeley.
5:45 - 6:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8: Poster presentation and reception in Pauley Ballroom East, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley
8-12 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9: Oral presentations in the 5th floor Tilden Room, MLK Jr. Student Union
6-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9: Awards presentation at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, Centennial Drive
WHO: Five individual competitors and three teams will participate in the Western regional finals. Of the 12 high school students, half come from California. One attends Saratoga High School, two come from Alhambra High School, two from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and one from Troy High School in Fullerton. Others hail from Portland, Ore., Berthoud, Colo., and Durham, N.C.
BACKGROUND: For the fourth year in a row, UC Berkeley hosts the Western regional finals of the Siemens competition, where individuals and teams compete to earn a place at the national competition, scheduled for Dec. 6-9 in Washington, D.C.
The 12 "whiz kids" participating this week will show off their research projects, which include a look at a catastrophic event in Nevada that may have contributed to the extinction of numerous creatures at the end of the Triassic period; an exploration of the effect of Alzheimer's disease on cell migration; and projects involving deformed chick embryos, atmospheric aerosols and software applications for the mobility impaired.
The competition is a national million-dollar scholarship and awards program developed by the Siemens Foundation to promote and advance math and science education in America. It is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences, or in mathematics. See http://www.siemens-foundation.org.
The competition at UC Berkeley is coordinated by Caroline Kane, adjunct professor of molecular and cell biology and chair of the campus's Coalition for Excellence and Diversity in Math, Science and Engineering, a highly successful program to boost the success of women and minorities in science, math and engineering.