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USC Shoah Foundation Announces 2017 IWitness Video Challenge That Offers $10,000 in Scholarships and Prizes 

Alycia Chanin, Discovery Education
(240) 662-3056, alycia_chanin@discovery.com 

Los Angeles, December 13, 2016 – Middle and high school students have the chance to win scholarships of up to $5,000 – and additional money for their educators and schools – by entering the fourth annual IWitness Video Challenge hosted by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.

Kicking off Dec. 13, the Challenge, which will award $10,000 in prizes overall, invites students to positively contribute to their communities, and complete an IWitness activity that involves submitting a short video explaining how they were inspired through testimony to make a positive impact. The IWitness Video Challenge is open to all secondary school students in the United States and Canada (except for Quebec) who attend public, private or home schools. Participants can access resources and submit entries at iwitness.usc.edu.

Helping to make this year’s Challenge the most successful yet are two organizational partners – Ford Motor Co., which is sponsoring the event as part of its commitment to innovative educational outreach; and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, which will administer the Challenge and help maximize reach and impact through its deep partnerships with school systems, administrators and educators worldwide and unparalleled experience in implementing education-based programs that improve student engagement and achievement.

The contest is based on one of the more than 70 activities found in IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s free educational website (iwitness.usc.edu), which brings the human stories from the Institute’s Visual History Archive – the world’s largest repository of testimony from survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides – to teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities.

The IWitness Video Challenge first presents students with selected testimonies from survivors who demonstrate what is possible when we make the courageous choice to act. Then, the Challenge takes students through the steps necessary to identify a problem, determine how to contribute to solving that problem, and how to create a video that captures their efforts and impact on helping to solve a problem in their community. Students will then be instructed on how to use the built-in video editor in IWitness to construct, edit and submit their one- to four-minute video project. No prior video editing knowledge is needed to participate.

Teachers who have participated in the Challenge in the past will notice updates to the contest rules as well as to IWitness. For instance, this year it is no longer incumbent upon classroom teachers to select one entry from their class; they now can submit as many projects as they find qualified.

Upgrades made to IWitness’s functionality in the past year include mini lessons – which can be completed in under half an hour – the ability for students to download their work and new rubrics that provide guidelines for teachers to follow when grading their students’ completed IWitness activities.

The prizes will be distributed as follows:

  •  The student who created the National Winning Entry will receive a US $5,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $1,000 scholarship; third place, a $500 scholarship.

 • The educator associated with the National Winning Entry will receive a $1,000 grant awarded in the form of a check, to be used to implement change in his/her school.

 • The school or organization that hosted the IWitness group/class associated with the National Winning Entry will receive a $2,500 grant awarded in the form of a check, to be used to implement change in their community.

 • The winning student, along with an educator and parent/guardian, will be flown to Los Angeles to screen their film at USC Shoah Foundation.

“Not only does the IWitness Video Challenge enable students to link their voices to those in the Visual History Archive who inspired them to act, but it also teaches them digital skills that are so important for students today,” said USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith.

The 2016 winners, a trio of eighth-graders from New Jersey, created a poetry group that enabled students at their school to express their hardships and appreciation for one another.  They found inspiration for their project after listening to Holocaust survivor Donia Blumenfeld Clenman recite her powerful poetry in her testimony.

Maya Montell, Allison Vandal and Caroline Waters of Readington Middle School in Raritan, N.J. created the Poets Undercover Guild (PUG), encouraging their friends and associates to write each other poems pertaining to the trials of middle-school life.

One of the first recipients of a poem was a sixth-grade girl who was being bullied.

“She felt really alone at that time, and she was just kind of depressed,” Caroline said. “When she read it, she felt empowered, like she wasn’t going to let the bullies tell her what to do.”

The winner of the inaugural Challenge in 2014 was Ruth Hernandez of Philadelphia. Now a senior at Esperanza Academy Charter High School, Hernandez produced a video – called "Voices of Our Journey" – based on the topic of immigration.

“When I started my video for the IWitness Video Challenge I had my mind set on making a change, but it was I who was changed through the whole process,” she said. “I remember just trying to understand how I would feel if I knew I would never see my parents again or if I had to leave everything I know. … I learned the importance of not being afraid of recognizing oppression and taking action to stop it.”

USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg launched the inaugural IWitness Video Challenge in 2013. The Challenge was designed around the same premise as Schindler’s List, that one person can make a difference. As Spielberg said at the time of the inaugural launch, “We can use IWitness to show the power of random acts of kindness, the significance of contributing to communities and the very idea that the best way to teach empathy is with examples of it so that maybe someday kindness will be a natural reflex.”

“The effectiveness of IWitness is well documented,” said Dr. Kori Street, director of education for USC Shoah Foundation. “Students who have engaged with our free educational website IWitness are significantly less likely to believe in stereotypes and are over 90 percent more likely to stand up against hateful stereotyping.”

Educators interested in signing up their students for the IWitness Video Challenge must submit entries by May 5, 2017 at iwitness.usc.edu. The winners will be announced on or around June 13, 2017.

For more information and complete rules, visit iwitness.usc.edu.

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About USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio- visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute’s current collection of more than 54,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.

Visual History Archive® is a registered trademark of USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education Reg. U.S. Pat & Tm. Off.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

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TEENS CALLED ON TO TACKLE OPIOID CRISIS THROUGH NATIONWIDE PEER-TO-PEER VIDEO COMPETITION

Dara Klatt, Discovery Education
(240) 662-3043, Dara_Klatt@discovery.com

Barbara Carreno, Drug Enforcement Administration
(202) 307-7977, Barbara.L.Carreno@usdoj.gov

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Invite Teens to Create Original Public Service Announcements on the Dangers of Opioid Misuse for Chance to Win up to a $10,000 Scholarship and Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the DEA Training Academy at Quantico

Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, MD (December 12, 2016) – Prescription opioid misuse has reached epidemic levels ? with hospitalizations spiking among children and teens for opioid painkiller overdoses in recent years.[i]  That’s why the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are launching the Operation Prevention Video Challenge that gives students the power to send a message to their peers about the dangers of opioid misuse.

For the first time, the Operation Prevention Video Challenge invites teens across the country to create a unique 30-60 second public service announcement, aimed to reach other teens about this widespread issue. The question: “If your friends were going to watch ONE video that made them think twice about misusing prescription opioids, what would that video be?”

The challenge is part of a joint nationwide education initiative called Operation Prevention that educates students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. Available at no cost, the program’s resources help initiate lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom.

“The video challenge is a great way for students to be creative and to reach their peers,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “They can illustrate the science of addiction and the effect opioids have on the brain and body to their friends ? and be seen and heard in ways that adults cannot ? and help tackle this epidemic.”

A panel of judges from Discovery Education and the DEA, as well as community leaders, educators, and communications experts, will select the winners for three DEA Educational Foundation scholarships. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, the second place winner will receive $5,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000.  

One People’s Choice winner will also be selected through public vote in April 2017 and will win a trip provided by the DEA for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of DEA agent training at the DEA’s Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Winning PSAs will also be featured on-air and across DEA’s digital and social media platforms.

Students must be at least 13-years-old and enrolled in 9th through 12th grade. Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, content, persuasiveness and overall effective communication. No violent, dangerous, or illegal behavior in creating the Entry Video is allowed. Teens can register and submit their entries today through March 28, 2017 at  https://www.operationprevention.com/video-challenge.

"Through our important grassroots programs, The DEA Educational Foundation has seen time and time again the power of peer-to-peer messaging and influence. We believe the video contest will not only bring to light the serious topic of the opioid epidemic in our communities, but will also help educate youth about the dangers of these drugs through the teen voice; one in which they will strongly relate,” said Bill Alden, Chairman and CEO of the DEA Educational Foundation. “We are thrilled to do our part in supporting America’s youth in bringing them critical and timely information and by helping them to make positive and healthy decisions ultimately leading to successful and fulfilling lives."

"We know what a powerful voice young people have as influencers in their friends lives,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “The DEA recognizes this fact and we are proud to join them in the effort to engage students in this critical conversation. The Operation Prevention Video Challenge empowers teens to use their digital storytelling skills to make a difference in the midst of a national crisis, and perhaps even save a life.”

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About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.

About the DEA Educational Foundation
Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to educate and encourage young people to avoid the pitfalls of drug addiction. The foundation supports the DEA Museum through advocacy, outreach, and educational program development.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.


[i] The journal JAMA Pediatrics

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NEW VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCES AND DIGITAL CONTENT ADDED TO DISCOVERY EDUCATION STREAMING PLUS AND TECHBOOK™ SERIES 

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education

240-662-5563, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

 

-Discovery Education releases three virtual reality experiences that invite students to step into the boots of soldiers to learn about American Civil War history-

Silver Spring, Md. (Dec. 8, 2016) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the addition of three new virtual reality experiences and more than 350 other digital assets to its award winning Discovery Education Streaming Plus and Techbook™ services.  This new content further empowers educators to create dynamic digital learning environments that support the success of all learners.

The new virtual reality experiences recently added to Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook help students explore three Civil War-themed issues through the eyes of a soldier.  The three topics explored are:

  • Desertion  —  During the Civil War, the Union and Confederate armies instituted a draft, forcing young men to join the fight. However, conditions in the army were often so terrible that soldiers deserted before they even reached battle. With this module, students will learn about the causes of desertion and the repercussions of leaving the military by virtually joining a soldier making a life or death decision.

 

  • Bridges — How did geography determine the course of the Civil War? The Rappahannock River in Virginia created a natural barrier for the Union Army, and new weapons made crossing rivers deadlier than ever before. Students will virtually step into the boots of a soldier to learn how armies adapted to these challenges through this module.

 

  • Urban Warfare — Although most battles were fought in rural settings, during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Union and Confederate armies engaged in battle not in open fields or forests, but in an urban center. This virtual reality experience illustrates the impact that battle locations had on the outcome of the war.

These new virtual reality experiences are affiliated with the six-part American Heroes Channel series, Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War, which premieres on Wednesday, December 14 at 10/9c.  Chronicling some of the most extraordinary chapters in American history, this series will captivate viewers with the full scope of events that occurred at key battles in the Civil War, and examine their historical impact.

“Virtual reality content offers students an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a topic and immerse themselves in learning,” said Ann Clermont, Grade 6 Literacy and Social Studies Teacher at the Green Bay Area Public School District’s Red Smith School in Wisconsin. “When integrated thoughtfully into instruction, these resources enrich lessons by adding perspective to the geography, politics, and psychology of the Civil War.”

Additional cross-curricular content now available through Discovery Education’s award-winning digital services, including:

  • 117 new titles from Scholastic: Two series based on classic children’s and Young Adult books are now available to Discovery Education Streaming Plus users. Goosebumps brings spine-tingling tales to middle school students, and Astroblast! encourages elementary students to use critical thinking and STEM concepts within an outer space environment.
  • More than 80 new titles from Discovery Networks: New episodes of Science Channel favorites Outrageous Acts of Science, How to Build Everything, Incredible Engineering Blunders, and Made by Destruction are now accessible within Discovery Education Streaming Plus and the Science Techbook. Social Studies Techbook users will learn about ancient Roman culture in the Lost World of Pompeii and debunk common misconceptions in American history in America: Facts vs. Fiction.  
  • Daily news stories from Reuters: Available in all Discovery Education services, breaking daily news clips help students digest important current events in politics, science, sports and international news.
  • 10 new health titles from Mazzarella Media: Lessons to help educators navigate discussions of health and safety issues, including stranger safety, addiction, and drugs and alcohol use, are now available via Discovery Education Streaming Plus.

Containing thousands of standards-aligned resources, Discovery Education Streaming and Streaming Plus helps build students’ mastery in interpreting, understanding, and evaluating information across all subject areas. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes.  Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, and videos, and more. 

Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in 1:1 or 1-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

“High quality digital content, like that offered in Discovery Education’s digital services, make students want to read a passage, analyze data, solve a problem, or discuss a topic to learn more,” said Kelli Campbell, senior vice president and digital learning officer at Discovery Education.  “We are pleased to add these new resources to our Streaming and Techbook services, as standards-aligned, high quality digital content vetted and organized by experts that has been specifically developed for today’s diverse student audiences like these are a powerful catalyst for transforming teaching and learning.”

To learn more about digital services for education offered by Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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OREGON AND TEXAS STUDENTS WIN $100,000 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZES IN 2016 SIEMENS COMPETITION IN MATH, SCIENCE, & TECHNOLOGY

Dara Klatt
202-607-4450,  Dara_Klatt@discovery.com

Vineet Edupuganti (Portland, OR) Wins $100,000 Top Individual Prize;
Twin Sisters Adhya Beesam and Shriya Beesam (Richardson, TX) Win $100,000 Team Prize

WASHINGTON, DC, December 6, 2016 – Three high school students, one from Portland, OR, and a team from Richardson, TX, were awarded grand prizes of $100,000 scholarships for their significant accomplishments in scientific research in the 17th annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The Competition is the nation's premier science research competition for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. For more information go to: www.siemens-foundation.org

Vineet Edupuganti, a senior at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, OR, won the $100,000 grand prize in the Individual category for developing a biodegradable battery that can power ingestible medical devices that can track and diagnose conditions that affect internal organs.

Identical twin sisters Adhya Beesam and Shriya Beesam, both juniors at Plano East Senior High School in Plano, TX shared the $100,000 grand prize in the Team category for their work developing a new approach to diagnose schizophrenia earlier in patients with higher certainty using both brain scans and psychiatric evaluations.

Bios, video, and photos available:

 http://siemensusa.synapticdigital.com/US/Siemens-Foundation

“All of the judges, including myself, were very impressed that high school students – even juniors and sophomores – were able to produce such advanced research and with an extremely sound command of the science,” said lead judge Dr. Megan Leftwich, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the George Washington University. “There was a real passion in what the students presented this year, as was shown by the depth of their research and by the relevance to what is actually being studied and valued in academia and society today.  They looked at real problems today – and all tried to go a step further in their own journey and analysis.  This was a very difficult group to have to choose a winner from.”

This year’s Siemens Competition winners, Vineet, Adhya and Shriya have demonstrated a drive and creativity that is truly awesome," said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. "These scholars are poised to transform the lives of millions around the globe by helping us advance medical knowledge and technologies designed to diagnose and treat various diseases. I cannot wait to see where their dedication and innovative thinking will lead them and the rest of us as well."

The 2016 Siemens Competition awards were presented at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, host of this year’s national finals event. 19 high school competitors – winnowed down from an original pool of more than 2,000 – were judged on their research in topics that addressed issues ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to levitating cars, and from cancer to planets outside our solar system. More than 1,600 projects were submitted for the competition this year in areas of computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, environmental science, biochemistry, biology, and engineering.

The Siemens Competition, launched in 1999 by the Siemens Foundation, was established to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens.  This competition, administered by Discovery Education, seeks to recognize and hopefully build a strong pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The Winning Individual

Vineet Edupuganti, a senior from Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, OR, won the individual category and a $100,000 scholarship for his project entitled, "Development of a High-Performance Biodegradable Battery for Transient Electronics."

Vineet’s work could simplify how medical practitioners diagnose conditions that affect internal organs. He developed a biodegradable battery that can power ingestible medical devices. The battery dissolves after the device has served its purpose, which means it can be swallowed without causing harm to the human body. This technology can be used to power medical devices that track and diagnose conditions that affect internal organs, like gastrointestinal disorders, which currently require complex imaging or invasive procedures to diagnose.

“This is very important technology, as implantable biocompatible devices play an increasingly important role in the future of medicine, as well as in environmental sensing with devices that themselves do not pollute the environment they are sensing, explained competition judge Dr. David Crouse, Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, NY.  “But current technology in this area is unreliable and poor performing.  Vineet’s project doesn’t just incrementally improve upon current capabilities – it represents a truly transforming step in creating a device that is both degradable and compatible with the body.   What was also remarkable about Vineet’s work was his comprehensive approach to single-minded tackling of the problem of biodegradable batteries:  Not only did he come up with the idea, he chose the materials, conducted the research, and then engineered a practical and cost-effective device.  Through this project, he exhibited the entire spectrum of skills, from innovation, through science, to engineering – and this impressed the judges greatly.”

Vineet is an aspiring entrepreneur who would like to find real-world applications for research that he can eventually take to market. He is fascinated by the newly-emerging field of biodegradable electronics because he sees its potential to affect change in a wide array of industries. Vineet received a third place grand award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2015 and 2016. He plays classical piano, guitar and tennis.

Vineet’s mentor is Dr. Raj Solanki, Professor of Physics at Portland State University.

The Winning Team

Twin sisters Adhya and Shriya Beesam of Plano East Senior High School in Plano, TX, won the team category and will share a $100,000 scholarship for their project entitled, "Linked Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System: A Novel Approach to Schizophrenia Diagnosis.”

Adhya and Shriya dedicated themselves to research better ways to diagnose schizophrenia after watching an uncle struggle with mental illness and several misdiagnoses before being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Eventually, they lost their uncle to suicide. Driven by the desire to help others be more quickly diagnosed and access better mental health treatment earlier, they taught themselves about schizophrenia and methods of diagnosing this illness.  The diagnosis of schizophrenia has historically been based largely on psychiatric evaluations—which are primarily based on observation and conversations—and ruling out other possible diagnoses. The development of tests, such as MRIs or CT scans have accelerated testing, but integrating these two approaches offered hope for faster, more accurate diagnosis.

Armed with this knowledge, they developed a computer program that would analyze the results of both quantitative (MRI) tests and qualitative tests (psychiatric evaluation by a professional, known as Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale – PANNS.)  Adhya and Shriya combined an approach known as “fuzzy logic,” with another method known as “neural networks” to combine the information in the brain scans and psychiatric evaluations in an intelligent manner that results in remarkably accurate results

“Without any mentors or special access, Adhya and Shriya Beesam showed extreme resourcefulness as they taught themselves the scientific literature related to Schizophrenia, clinical methods and machine learning algorithms,” said Badrinath Roysam, Professor and Chair at the Cullen College of Engineering’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of Houston.  “With little outside guidance, they tracked down relevant databases and found a way to challenge the traditional instinct of choosing an already-established singular path of diagnosis, and instead pursued a way to harness the combined power of two major and different tools of clinical diagnoses.  In the end, they ended up developing a credible approach to earlier diagnosis of Schizophrenia that could enable treatment.   This was student science driven by passion, curiosity, tenacity and courage.” 

The Beesams’ approach also has the potential to improve the diagnosis of many other brain disorders and diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.  The Beesam sisters did not have an official mentor but had support from Julie Baker, a teacher in the Biology department at Plano East Senior High School.

National Finalists

Six individuals and six teams competed at the 2016 Siemens Competition National Finals. The remaining national finalists were awarded the following scholarships:

Individuals:

  • $50,000 scholarship — Manan Shah, Senior from The Harker School in San Jose, CA, resides in Los Altos
  • $40,000 scholarship — Alexander Kirov, Senior from Greenbrier High School in Evans, GA, resides in Evans
  • $30,000 scholarship — Prateek Kalakuntla, Senior from Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science in Denton, TX, resides in Plano
  • $20,000 scholarship — Pranav Sivakumar, Senior from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL, resides in Tower Lakes
  • $10,000 scholarship — Blake Hord, Senior from Dobbs Ferry High School, Dobbs Ferry, NY, resides in Dobbs Ferry

Teams:

  • $50,000 scholarship — Nikhil Cheerla, Senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA, and Anika Cheerla, Sophomore at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA, both residing in Cupertino
  • $40,000 scholarship — Yoshihiro Saito, Sophomore at Marriotts Ridge High School in Marriottsville, MD, residing in Ellicott City, MD, and Lauryn Wu, Sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, residing in McLean, VA
  • $30,000 scholarship — Louis Golowich, Junior at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA, residing in Lexington and Richard Zhou, Junior at Lexington High School residing in Lexington
  • $20,000 scholarship — Katherine Cao, Senior at Homestead High School in Mequon, WI, residing in Mequon,  William Hu, Senior at Saratoga High School in Saratoga, CA, residing in Saratoga and Alice Wu, Senior at Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, NY, residing in Dix Hills
  • $10,000 scholarship — Jasmin Gao, Senior at Northview High School in Johns Creek, GA., residing in Suwanee, GA, and Rose Hong, Junior at Del Norte High School in San Diego, CA, residing in San Diego

2016 Siemens Competition

  • 2,146 students (1271 individuals, 304 2-person teams and 89 3-person teams) submitted applications from 46 states plus the District of Columbia and 7 countries with more than 1,600 projects submitted for consideration.
  • 498 students were named Semifinalists from which 96 were named Regional Finalists
  • 19 National Finalists were selected over three weekends in November, judged by esteemed scientific experts at six leading research universities which host the regional competitions: Georgia Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 4-5), California Institute of Technology and University of Notre Dame (November 11-12), and Carnegie Mellon University and The University of Texas at Austin (November 18-19)

For more details go to: http://siemensusa.synapticdigital.com/US/Siemens-Foundation. Follow us on Twitter @sfoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at Siemens Foundation.

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About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $90 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. The Foundation’s mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are helping close the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. when it comes to STEM careers, and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.  For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org or follow @sfoundation.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND FREEPORT-MCMORAN HOST LIVE VIRTUAL EVENT FOR CLASSROOMS NATIONWIDE EXPLORING STEM IN TODAY’S COPPER INDUSTRY 

Alycia Chanin, Discovery Education
(240) 662-3056, alycia_chanin@discovery.com 

– ‘Day of Learning’ Virtual Field Trip Offers Students an Exclusive Look Into Real-World STEM Applications and Important Role of Copper in Everyday Life –

SILVER SPRING, Md. (December 5, 2016)Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and Freeport-McMoRan, a leading international natural resource company, will host an interactive live virtual field trip on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 from 11am ET – 2pm ET for students nationwide. This ‘Day of Learning’ virtual event will offer students a behind-the-scenes look into the STEM careers available in today’s copper industry, and show participants how copper plays a crucial role in everyday life. During this virtual event, which is offered as part of the “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper” educational initiative, participants will meet professionals at Freeport-McMoRan as they discuss the various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) applications found in each phase of copper recovery.

At the top of each hour between 11am ET – 2pm ET, the ‘Day of Learning’ event will highlight different copper industry professionals including geologists, engineers, metallurgists, and reclamation and environmental managers. Designed with educators in mind, this flexible viewing format allows classrooms to tune-in at any particular hour throughout the event. Students may submit questions in advance on the program website for a chance to have them answered live by Freeport-McMoRan professionals during the event. To register and submit questions for this event, please visit: http://www.digintomining.com/virtualfieldtrips.

“My class and I are looking forward to this event, as it will give us with real-time access to STEM professionals and demonstrate first-hand the real-world applications of our classroom lessons,” said Andy Losik, Digital Learning Coordinator at Hamilton Community Schools in Fennville, MI. “Through this ‘Day of Learning’ event, I hope to introduce my students to some of the many STEM career paths available to them after graduation. The Dig into Mining virtual field trips are a perfect way for students to open their eyes to the processes involved in copper recovery and transforming ore into materials needed to build everything from toasters to smartphones.”

The ‘Day of Learning’ event is offered as part of Discovery Education and Freeport-McMoRan’s comprehensive “Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper” program. Available at no cost, this initiative provides students, educators and families an online site that includes hands-on resources to inspire students to explore how the earth’s natural resources shape their lives geologically, societally and economically. The program offers standards-based classroom tools and Virtual Labs that encourage the development of students’ STEM, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Additional at-home family resources help students to share their classroom learnings with family members through insightful conversation about geology, and match their skills and interests to exciting opportunities within the copper industry.

“The Day of Learning is an outstanding culmination of the learning opportunities included in Dig Into Mining,” said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. “This fun, interactive way of learning will bring the mining process to life for students and allow them to engage with the employees who make it happen. We believe it’s an excellent way for students to gain a greater understanding of how STEM knowledge is used in a workplace in various careers on a daily basis, making the content they learn in math and science classes more relatable.”

For more information about the virtual field trip or Dig Into Mining: The Story of Copper’s free resources, visit: http://www.digintomining.com/

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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