The competition which is administered by the College Board is a program of the Siemens Foundation.
This years national finals came down to six individuals and six teams. In order to compete at the finals, both the individuals and teams had to win one of six regional competitions which took place in November of this year.
This year the awards were held at George Washington University. The winners in both the individual and team categories were awarded a $100,000 prize.
The contestants presented their research to a board of judges composed of prestigious individuals from in and around the science and mathematics community. The board was headed by Judge Michael W. Plesniak, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at George Washington University.
This year, Angela Zhang, a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif. took home the individual grand prize for her research using nanotechnology to eradicate cancer stem cells.
“Angela created a nanoparticle that is like a Swiss army knife of cancer treatment,” said competition judge Dr. Tejal Desai a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California in San Francisco. “She showed great creativity and initiative in designing a nanoparticle system that can be triggered to release drugs at the site of the tumor while also allowing for non-invasive imaging.”
Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain, seniors at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, secured the $100,000 team grand prize for their work in using “Kinect” for Xbox 360 and computer vision, new gaming technology to analyze human walking patterns, which may be able to be used in prosthesis design for amputees.
“It is a remarkable day for American innovation when our high school students do science research at this level,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “I hope other students will follow their example and embrace STEM subjects with such vigor. These young innovators are poised to drive the next generation of advances in science and technology.”