UC Berkeley to Host Siemens Westinghouse Competition's Western Regional Finals

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Aspiring high school scientists from around the country will flock to UC Berkeley this Friday to compete in this year's Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition's western regional finals.

During the two-day science and technology competition, participants will present their scientific exploits to a panel of judges, fielding questions in the process.

The panel will be composed of experts in science, math and engineering.

The Siemens Foundation selected almost 75 students from a pool of nearly 2,000 to attend the regional finals, which are also being held at five other universities.

UC Berkeley has hosted the western regional finals since the competition first began in 1999.

The competition has both short- and long-term benefits, said UC Berkeley molecular and cell biology professor Caroline Kane.

"Supporting these students in their college careers is not only a reward for a job well done in the competition, but also an incentive for them to continue on to careers in math, science and engineering," she added.

Past regional winners investigated fields as diverse as computational astrophysics, robotics and the embryology of sea urchins.

Mariangela Lisanti, who won the individual competition in 2000, developed techniques to measure the electrical properties of nanowires.

Winning the competition allowed her to attend the college of her choice and to meet a number of inspiring individuals, she said.

In addition to winning a $3,000 college scholarship, regional winners will advance to the national finals to be held in Washington, D.C.

Posters of the competitors' projects will be on display this Friday evening in the Pauley Ballroom.


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