UC Berkeley teams with Siemens Foundation to find "whiz kids" through nationwide high school science and technology competition

By Robert Sanders, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- The Siemens Foundation, the non-profit organization established by global technology company Siemens, announced this week that the University of California, Berkeley, and five other prestigious research universities in the United States will assist in judging, planning and administering the regional competitions of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition.

The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, now in its inaugural year, is the national million-dollar scholarship and awards program developed by the Siemens Foundation to promote and advance math and science education in America. The competition is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences, or in mathematics.

As part of the collaboration with the Siemens Foundation, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Texas at Austin each will host the regional events of the competition.

During the two-day regional event, UC Berkeley will host up to 20 student competitors and their chaperones at on-campus activities, science and technology-related demonstrations, and tours of renowned university laboratories and facilities. These and a variety of other activities are intended to contribute to an atmosphere of fun and spirited competition among the contending high schoolers. The campus event and outreach activities are coordinated by the Coalition for Excellence and Diversity in Math, Science and Engineering, chaired by Caroline Kane, adjunct associate professor of molecular and cell biology.

In addition, UC Berkeley faculty members from various science and mathematics-related disciplines will serve on judging panels for the regional. Competing students will present their projects to the panel of judges on the Saturday morning of each scheduled regional competition. Based on that presentation, one individual and one team of winners per each region will be chosen and recognized at an on-campus banquet that evening. The scholarship prize for each regional individual winner totals $20,000; each regional team winner divides $30,000.

Regional competitions and judging will be held:

October 29-31, 1999: at Carnegie Mellon University

November 5-7, 1999: at UC Berkeley

November 12-14, 1999: at MIT and University of Notre Dame

November 19-21, 1999: at Georgia Tech and University of Texas at Austin

"The University of California, Berkeley and the other 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. These are the very skills that enhance U.S. competitiveness worldwide and help make Siemens a key player in the global arena."

"UC Berkeley is delighted to be a host site for this year's regional competition," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl. "The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition is a wonderful way to inspire young scholars. Especially gratifying for Berkeley is the addition this year of outreach efforts to Bay Area urban high schools so that we can encourage even more students to become involved in mathematics and science."

The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition

The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition will be judged first on the regional level on partner university campuses, with regional awards going to six individual students and six teams. The culmination will be a $100,000 national scholarship to a winning individual student, with the top team winning $90,000 in scholarships, to be divided among the participating students.

Panels of scientists and university faculty will serve as judges at the regional and national competitions under the direction of the national education organizations The College Board and the Educational Testing Service, which have partnered with the Siemens Foundation to administer the competition. Siemens will in no way be involved with the selection of judges or influence their decisions.

The competition recognizes student projects for originality, creativity, academic rigor and clarity of communication.

The Siemens Foundation

The Siemens Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships and increasing access to higher education for students gifted in the sciences, and in mathematics and technology-related disciplines.

Established in 1998 to promote and support educational activities, the foundation recognizes and supports America's most promising math and science 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 Corporation, its operating companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.

Through the partnerships it has established with leading research universities, the foundation will promote recruitment of students and coordinate research internship opportunities for them on-campus or at Siemens companies around the United States.

For more information about the Siemens Foundation and its university partners, visit the foundation's website at

In the United States, Siemens is an industry leader in telecommunications; energy and power; lighting and precision materials; industry and automation; and healthcare, and a key player in microelectronics and components; transportation; information systems and other products. In 1998, Siemens' U.S. businesses had more than 66,000 employees, and recorded sales of more than $11.0 billion. Siemens AG, based in Berlin and Munich, is one of the world's largest electrical engineering and electronics companies and employs over 400,000 people in a total of 193 countries.

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