The Academy sponsors, supports, or participates in a number of special activities in response to the mandate of its Charter to: “… promote interest in science and engineering on the part of the public, especially young people.” Each year, the Academy recognizes event winners who participated in the Connecticut Science Challenge, Connecticut Science Fair, Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, the Connecticut Invention Convention, and the National Intel Science Talent Search at the Academy’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in May. Funding for all student and school awards is provided from contributions to the Academy’s Student Awards Fund by the members of the Academy and by Gerber Scientific, Inc., for its sponsorship of the H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence.
Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair – Urban School Challenge, Middle School
The 2016 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF) was held in March at Quinnipiac College in Hamden. To promote interest in science and engineering, and to recognize those high school students whose science projects are judged to be the best of the senior division in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and the Urban School Challenge, the Academy presents the H. Joseph Gerber Medal each year to these top winners of the CSEF. (Please see the H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence for a listing of the winners of this award.)
In addition, the Academy recognizes the middle school winner of the Urban School Challenge with a $250 honorarium. The school’s science department is recognized with a Letter of Commendation and a $500 donation for the purpose of furthering science and mathematics education.
The Urban School Challenge began as a CSEF competition in 2013 to recognize a middle school and high school student from an urban district. The Urban School Challenge is supported by funds from the Academy’s Endowment Fund and others. The 2016 Middle School Winner of the Urban School Challenge is:
Lasya Josyula, Westside Middle School Academy, Danbury, CT
2016 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair - Middle School Winner, Urban School Challenge
Project: Study of Various Starch-Based Biopolymers
Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium
The Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is sponsored by the University of Connecticut and is part of the national U. S. Army Junior Science and Humanities Symposia Program. The Academy joined with other corporations and institutions in support of this event. The 2016 symposium was held in March at the University of Connecticut. The symposium has been effective in enhancing student motivation, stimulating original research and promoting the setting for exciting scientific meetings. It is intended to recognize students who have demonstrated intellectual achievement and promise. This event provides a forum for selected high school students to present a variety of technical papers and posters, meet in small discussion groups with leading scientists from Connecticut industries, and utilize special facilities at the university to explore technical and ethical challenges of current science. The Academy recognizes the top five oral presenters and their respective schools. The winners are as follows:
1st Place: Aakshi Agarwal, Hamden High School, Hamden, CT
Project: CRISPR Based Gene Editing Confers Resistance to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
2nd Place: Paul Hansel, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
Project: An Antibody-Functionalized Graphene Transistor Lab-On-A-Chip for Selective Detection of Malaria Pathogens
3rd Place: Sarishka Desai, Darien High School, Darien, CT
Project: Identification of Novel Small Molecules that Bind to K-Ras and PI3Kγ RBDs, Two Major Protein Components Involved in the Deregulation of the Cell Cycle in Hematological Cancers
4th Place: Katherine Handler, Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge, CT
Project: Succession Variations in Kenyan Scavenger Communities and the Importance of Wildebeest Carcasses
5th Place: Jennifer Schwartz, Ridgefield High School, Ridgefield, CT
Project: The Induction of Apoptosis in Leukemia and Lymphoma Cell Lines by Small Molecule Inhibitors through Inhibition of Antiapoptotic Proteins
These students and their schools are recognized at the 2016 Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Academy. The students receive Certificates of Recognition and a $250 honorarium. Each high school is also recognized with a Letter of Commendation and a $500 donation to its science department to further science and mathematics education from the Academy. Additionally, Governor Dannel P. Malloy issues an Official Statement to each student in recognition of this outstanding achievement.
Connecticut Invention Convention
The Connecticut Invention Convention is a program that seeks to provide students in grades K-8 with a meaningful opportunity to develop and encourage creative thinking and invention. The Invention Convention program is designed to integrate all aspects of a student’s educational experience in an effort to solve real-life problems by understanding and using creative skills. The convention provides an opportunity for student inventors to participate in a friendly competition and to share their ideas with each other as well as adult inventors, engineers, patent attorneys and other professionals.
For 2016, the Academy recognizes the 15 middle and elementary school student winners of the Invention Convention. Each student received a $50 Prize Certificate for the purchase of scientific equipment, books, or other Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics-related materials.