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Oregon Tech Awards Two Scholarships at Intel ISEF 2013

Jun 10, 2013
Oregon Tech awarded two students with $5,000 each at the annual Intel® International Science and Education Fair® (Intel ISEF).

June 10, 2013, KLAMATH FALLS, ORE. – Oregon Tech awarded two students with $5,000 each at the annual Intel® International Science and Education Fair® (Intel ISEF). The collective IQ of Phoenix, Arizona rose on May 12-17, when 1,600 young math whizzes, scientists, and engineers were brought together to demonstrate their inventions and discoveries, to compete for more than $4 million in prizes and scholarships, with a chance for a top prize of $75,000.

Intel ISEF, a program of Society for Science & the Public (SSP) and the world's largest international pre-college science competition, is the premiere science competition in the world exclusively for students in grades 9–12. This is an ongoing effort by Intel & SSP to support the effort to bring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) into focus in education, which is an awareness that Oregon Tech actively endorses.

Projects are evaluated onsite by more than 1,200 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of 6 years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines. Oregon Tech professors Dr. David Culler and Seth Anthony were on hand to choose the winners that would each receive a $5,000 scholarship to attend Oregon Tech. If a student chooses not to attend Oregon Tech, the scholarship defaults to their high school and the school will have the chance to award it again.

Two juniors walked away with Oregon Tech scholarships, Gresham Union High School student, Sarah Walker for her Artificial Neural Networks for Simulated Control Systems, and Jesuit High School student Meghana Rao with The Novel Implementation of Biochar Cathodes in Microbial Fuel Cells (Phase I). Dr. Culler shares that, “students from Oregon are evaluated based on the quality of their project, showcasing significant learning from trial and error, their dedication to their project, and possessing a character that fits with who Oregon Tech is.”

With an interest in pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering, Sarah Walker used artificial neural networks to control a "robot," which she simulated using MATLAB. The robot's task was to move around a 2D matrix and try to follow a trail, using four directional abilities (up, own, left, or right) and it was aware of its location in the matrix relative to where the imposed trail was. Sarah states, “It was really great to see representatives from OIT there at ISEF, and even better was that they walked around to the exhibits from Oregon and talked to us ISEF Finalists. It was really exciting and such an honor to be awarded a scholarship to OIT.”

Meghana Rao impressed judges by creating a model of fuel cells that used biochar to generate energy. Biochar is similar to charcoal and is under investigation to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions. Meghana’s project showcased how these biochar fuel cells would have the potential to generate energy while helping mitigate climate change, increase soil fertility, and reduce pressure on forests.

This is an important event for Oregon Tech as one of the few universities represented in a sea of corporate, academic, government, and science-focused sponsors. Dr. Culler looks forward to this event each year. “We love getting the word out there about Oregon Tech and what we have to offer. It gives us the chance to be on the stage with elite students and represent Oregon Tech,” he reports.

To learn more about the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, visit: www.societyforscience.org/isef.

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.

About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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