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For the past two years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has joined dozens of other government agencies, organizations, and companies as a Special Awards Organization at the Intel ISEF. “Through ISEF and Society for Science & the Public, EPA has been able to identify hundreds of high school students whose interest has led them to develop innovative solutions that’ll support EPA’s goal of a more sustainable future,” said Patrick Hurd, a member of the Science Communication Staff at EPA.
EPA awards an all-expense-paid trip to one Intel ISEF Finalist to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2011 P3 People, Prosperity and the Planet Design Competition for Sustainability, where the Finalist displays his or her award-winning project on the National Mall and has the opportunity to interact with University level students, EPA scientists, and researchers.
John Charles Boykin, 15, of Bedford, Ohio won in 2010 for his project, “Can Recycled Plastics Be Used to Reduce Landfill Waste, Help Improve the Infrastructure of Buildings, Roads, Highways and Bridges and Reduce Greenhouse Gas?” and Ryan Cherian Alexander, 16, of Plano, Texas won in 2009 for his project, “Gone with the Windmills: An Analysis of the Effectiveness of an Oscillating Wind Energy Generator.” “It’s great that both of our winners’ designs are able to be implemented not only in developed countries but in the developing world as well,” said Patrick. “It is important to encourage sustainability even when resources are limited.”
Engaging in science research can impart a variety of skills—problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration and effective communication, to name a few.
In 2003, we were being recruited to head up judging at Intel ISEF, which was being held in Phoenix two years later.