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60th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

By Benjamin Deming and Zachary Fansler

The 2009 Intel International Science an Engineering Fair (ISEF) was held May 10-15 in Reno, Nevada.   ISEF is the world's largest pre-college celebration of science. It is held annually in May in a different city and attracts top high school students from around the world.  In recent years, the competition has been sponsored by Intel Corporation.
Approximately 1500 of the best and brightest high school science students from the United States and 40 foreign countries participated in this year’s ISEF, presenting 1225 exhibits.  The winners were awarded nearly $4 million in scholarships, internships, and scientific field trips from government agencies, corporations, and organizations such as AIPLA.  AIPLA judges Benjamin Deming of Howrey LLP, Los Angeles, California, and Zachary Fansler of RatnerPrestia, Wilmington, Delaware were on hand to award two “First Awards” of $1000 and two “Second Awards” of $250.
In selecting winners for the AIPLA awards, the judges looked for projects that showed not only solid scientific and engineering talent, but that also showed promise as "intellectual property."  Although there were many amazing science projects on display, four in particular stood out as worthy recipients for the AIPLA awards.
First Award winner Ying Pan (Guangzhou, China) developed a novel solution to fitting prosthetic limbs.  As recipients of prosthetic limbs grow, their artificial limbs became uncomfortable and require frequent resizing.  Ms. Pan developed her silicon rubber prosthetic limb after hearing neighbors complain of the problem.  For her work, Ms. Pan was awarded $1000 from AIPLA.
AIPLA’s other First Award winner also showed initiative in developing a device to assist handicapped people.  John Hinkel (Hopkinton, Massachusetts) wrote a computer program that allows paraplegic computer users to operate a mouse with the aid of a simple head-mounted pointing device.  Mr. Hinkel’s computer program is novel in that it combines both pointing and clicking by only moving one’s head, whereas most prior art devices only point or click.  Mr. Hinkel was also awarded $1000 for his work.
Olexandr Olenyev (Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine) and the team of Matthew Stegall and Grant Edwards (Charlotte, North Carolina) received second prizes from the AIPLA.  Mr. Olenyev created and developed a working prototype of a “Versatile Wind Velocity and Direction Transducer.”  The combination of low cost, durability, and near absence of moving parts makes the device suitable for a wide range of applications.  Meanwhile, Messrs. Stegall and Edwards created a “Personal Audio Disruption Device” that signals headphone users of approaching cars, trains, or emergency vehicles.  The pair created four working prototypes out of spare parts salvaged from their neighborhood.
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Photo caption: Judging on behalf of AIPLA this year were Benjamin Deming from Howrey LLP, Los Angeles, California, and Zachary Fansler from RatnerPrestia, Wilmington, Delaware.



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Pictured from left to right: Olexandr Olenyev, Matthew Stegall, Grant Edwards, John Hinkel, and Ying Pan .