Alcoa Foundation aims to inspire the next generation - Society for Science Skip to content

Alcoa Foundation aims to inspire the next generation

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Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the US. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $550 million since 1952. Focusing on the environment and education, Alcoa Foundation is building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. Alcoa Foundation has provided special awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair since 2012. Information provided by Sandra K. Hughes, SPHR ǀ AFS Human Resources: Human Resource Director-U.S. Aero.

Why do you provide awards, judges and volunteers for Intel ISEF?

The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers, who in 2011 contributed more than 900,000 service hours‚ the equivalent of more than 475 people working full-time for a year. In 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees participated in the company’s signature Month of Service across 24 countries. This year we are excited to offer two awards at Intel ISEF: “The Future of Transportation” and “Assembly and Joining in the 21st Century.”

What impact do you think you, as an organization that provides awards and as judges, have on students interested in scientific research?

Alcoa was founded by students who were inspired by one of their teachers to find a cost effective method for producing aluminum. Inspiring and advancing the next generation is integral to our values.

What areas of science does your organization focus on?

Our core competencies include material science, environmental science, energy and various fields of engineering. Aluminum ore is one of the most abundant materials on our planet and aluminum is infinitely recyclable. 

Do you have any advice for young students interested in pursuing science?

Many of today’s most pressing problems can be solved by combining knowledge from different areas of science. Living organisms have evolved well-adapted structures and materials over geological time through natural   selection. Nature has solved many of today’s engineering problems such as self-healing abilities, environmental exposure tolerance and resistance, hydrophobicity, self-assembly, and harnessing solar energy. We believe that if you pay close attention to the natural world you will find solutions to the most challenging problems.

Most recent winners (2013):

Power Economy Award: Alcoa Foundation will offer awards for projects that demonstrate innovative, sustainable electric power savings or effective management. 

  • Andrew Miller from Albuquerque, New Mexico for his project, Third World Power: Using a Joule Thief to Extend Battery  Life
  • Shuailin Lu, Peiwen Liu, and Yutong Liu from Shenyang, China for their project Technology of DC Supply in Families
  • Cristian Rivera from Cayey, Puerto Rico for Large Scale Renewable Energy Uninterruptable Power System

Using Metals: Alcoa Foundation will also offer awards for projects that best demonstrate innovative, sustainable use of metals, focusing on but not limited to aluminum. 

  • Tsimafei Malakhouski from Soligorsk, Belarus for AluGlass- New Thermostable Material for Electrical Engineering
  • Faizullah Mashriqi from Fresh Meadows, New York for Let There Be Light!…Fully Solution-Processed Polymer Based Aluminum Substrate Photovoltaic Cells Fabricated in Ambient Air
  • Michael Sherburne and Andres Artze from Fairfax, Virginia for their project Ablation Resistance and Performance of Metals in Magnetoplasmadynamic Applications

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