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May 18, 2012
Alcoa Foundation Presents Sustainability Awards to Young Talent at Intel ISEF 2012 Special Awards Ceremony
PITTSBURGH--Alcoa Foundation announced six winners in two award categories,
Sustainable Water Management and Sustainable Material Use, at the 2012
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held
yesterday in Pittsburgh. Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college
science competition showcasing more than 1,500 leading young talent’s
independent scientific research projects. The winning students will
split $10,000 from Alcoa Foundation for their impressive innovations
regarding sustainable use or reuse of water and materials.
The Sustainable Material Use Awards went to:
1st award – William Weili Xu, Princeton High School, New
Jersey. His project, titled “Creating and Optimizing Porous Metal
Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for the Capture of Carbon Dioxide from Flue
Gas Mixtures,” created innovative materials that would serve to
capture greenhouse gases before they are emitted from industrial sites
into the atmosphere.
2nd award – Polina Kovalenko, Chemical Ecological Lyceum,
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Her project, titled “Smart Windows: New
Template Synthesis of Thin Nickel Hydroxide Film for Electrochromic
Devices,” developed a thin Nickel Hydroxide film with excellent
adhesive properties which when applied to a window enables it to
lighten and darken as desired with the application of a current.
3rd award – Jennifer Colon and Asuwie M. Serrano, Luis Munoz
Marin High School, Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. Their project, titled
“Volcano of Energy,” developed an aluminum cone-shaped structure to
collect and concentrate the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity
through directed air flow.
“Alcoa Foundation has a continued commitment to innovation and education
that underscores the importance of sustainable development,” stated
Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “We are proud to present these
awards which help encourage students worldwide to explore their passion
for innovation and create solutions for global challenges.”
“We were very surprised by the warmth, inclusion and acceptance of
people from different cultures at the ISEF competition,” said Emily
Mudder, Avon High School, Avon South Dakota. “We have had the best time
of our lives meeting new friends and learning how many others are as
excited by science as we are. We really appreciate the support of
industrial sponsors to encourage us to pursue our scientific interests.”
The recipients of the Sustainable Water Management Awards are:
1st award - Maya Braun and Avishai Ketko, Moshe Sharet High
School, Netanya, Israel. Their project, titled, “Solar Water
Purification Using Drop Technology System,” demonstrated the
feasibility of using a low cost, portable solar concentrator to
disinfect water droplet streams at a rate of 6 liters of water per
2nd award – Allison Roth and Emily Mudder, Avon High School,
Avon, South Dakota. Their project, titled, “Using Colorimetry to
Monitor Nickel Contamination of Water,” developed a real-time method
for monitoring dissolved metal contamination in water streams.
3rd award – Gal Oren and Nerya Stroh, JCT Torah & Science
Yeshiva High School, Jerusalem, Israel. Their project, “A Device for
Detection and Discontinuation of Leakages in Domestic Water Supply
Systems,” resulted in a patented active response control device to
minimize domestic water leaks.
The two awards are aligned with Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation’s focus on
improving the environment and preparing individuals for careers in
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and manufacturing.
For Alcoa, water is an important raw material, with the major uses
occurring in the refining and ingot-casting processes. Across Alcoa’s
operations, employees work to ensure water efficiency, but place an even
greater focus on conservation in regions where water availability is
most sensitive. In addition, Alcoa recognizes the need to make efficient
use of all raw materials and natural assets. For example, Alcoa reduced
its freshwater-use intensity (consumption per unit of production) by 21%
versus 2005 levels, exceeding the 2020 goal of a 10% reduction. The new
goals are to achieve a 25% improvement in freshwater-use intensity by
2020 and 30% by 2030 versus 2005 levels.
This year’s competition was held in Pittsburgh to support the emerging
technology sector in the city and surrounding region.
About Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a
program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world's largest
pre-college science competition, and includes high school students from
approximately 70 countries, regions and territories. Each year, the
finalists showcase their independent research as they compete for more
than $3 million in awards. The Intel ISEF encourages millions of
students worldwide to explore their passion for innovation and develop
solutions for global challenges.
In addition to presenting their research on a global stage, finalists
are judged by and interact with doctoral level scientists as they
compete for prizes. Each year, more than 400 finalists receive awards
and prizes for their groundbreaking research.
Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to
public engagement in scientific research and education, owns and has
administered the International Science and Engineering Fair since its
inception in 1950. In 1958, the competition became international for the
first time when Japan, Canada and Germany joined. This year’s first time
participating countries and regions include Azerbaijan, Finland,
Northern Mariana Islands, Poland, Spain, Panama, UAE, Tunisia and Kuwait.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the
U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50
years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since
1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to
nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative
partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and
educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further
enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their
energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities
where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service
program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in
more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children,
serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800
nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at www.alcoafoundation.com.