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SPIE participates in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

By Stacey Crockett

Bellingham, Wash-May 29, 2007-SPIE participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 13-19, awarding prizes to three outstanding individuals and teams.


Each year, over 70 organizations representing a wide variety of scientific disciplines affiliate with the Intel ISEF as Special Awards Organizations. These governmental, industrial, and educational institutions present grants, scholarships, internships, and scientific field trips to finalists at affiliated fairs and at the Intel ISEF. SPIE is proud to be one of these sponsors.


Almost 1,500 students from 47 countries competed for nearly $4 million in scholarships and prizes at the 57th Intel ISEF. SPIE supports Intel ISEF affiliated science fairs to help inform students about the educational and career possibilities in the exciting and growing field of optical engineering.


SPIE presented these awards for the best projects in the area of Optics and Photonics Engineering:


$2,500 was awarded to Hamsa Sridhar, Kings Park High School, Kings Park NY. Miss Sridhar was recognized for her project titled: Development of an Inverted Optical Tweezers with Full Motional Control. She demonstrated the ability to manipulate yeast cells in 3 directions (x, y, z); and characterized the drag force in each direction. The inverted configuration was selected to balance radiation pressure with gravity.


$1,500 was awarded to a team project by Chelsey Webb, Alexandra Smith, and Ryan Clark, Hilton Head Preparatory School, Hilton Head Island, SC. The team was recognized for their project titled: Improving Laser Efficiency using Rhodamine 6G in a Nd: YAG Laser.


$1,000 was awarded to Lauren Richey, Springville High School, Springville UT. Miss Richey was recognized for her project titled: Investigation of the Structural Properties of a Three-dimensional Biological Photonic Crystal.

SPIE judges were H. Philip Stahl (lead judge), NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr; Bill Goodman, Schafer Corp.; Ed Spivak, Spivak Associates; and Jim McNally, TruTouch Technologies, Inc.


Stahl had this to say about the competition, "The range of projects was incredible, as well as the overall quality of work presented; it was hard to select just three for recognition. The best part was conversing with so many enthusiastic, extremely bright and articulate students and encouraging them to continue their studies in physics and optics. I highly recommend that everyone should jump at the chance to judge at the international fair as well as your own state and local fairs. It is our obligation to encourage the next generation of optical scientists and engineers."


Dedicated to advancing the science and application of light, SPIE is the largest international not-for-profit society in optics, photonics, and imaging with 17,500 individual members, including 3,500 students, and representing 86 countries. SPIE has distributed nearly $3 million dollars in individual scholarships and institutional grants. This ambitious effort reflects the Society's commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers.


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