Spotlight on America’s Top Scholarships: Siemens Competition Scholarships

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Siemens Competition Scholarships

Offered by: Siemens Foundation

About the Organization

The Siemens Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Siemens, provides more than $7 million each year to support educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math in the United States. Since Siemens got its start in 1847, they have been working to provide innovative and sustainable technological solutions to the world. In addition to the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the Foundation’s signature programs include the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement and the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Fun fact: Siemens Velaro – a group of high-speed trains manufactured by Siemens – is the fastest series production trainset in the world, having reached a speed of 403 km/h (about 250 mph) without modifications.

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2012 Grand Prize Winner Kensen Shi

Scholarship Background

To establish this competition, Siemens partnered up with CollegeBoard. The purpose of the competition is to promote excellence by encouraging high school students nationwide to tackle individual or team research projects in the fields of math, engineering, biological science, and physical science. Scholarships are awarded to all students who are selected to attend and compete in the regional and national events. Awards range from $1,000 up to $100,000.

Who Qualifies

The competition is open to high school students who are citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) of the United States. They must also be in good standing. Students submitting individual projects must be enrolled in and attending their last year of school. Team projects may have two or three members and do not need to include a senior.

Application Process

To apply, each team or individual must submit an original research project accompanied by a research report. Regional competitions are held at six leading research universities across the country in November. Of the regional finalists, up to 10 projects from each of six geographic regions will be selected as national finalists and advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC, in December.  All regional finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship; individual regional winners will receive a $3,000 scholarship and team regional winners will receive a $6,000 scholarship to be divided equally among the team members. The six national winners will each receive scholarships valued between $10,000 and $100,000 depending on where they place in the competition. Students selected as regional and national finalists will need to prepare for a poster presentation, oral presentation, and a question-and-answer session before a panel of judges.

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2012 Grand Prize Team Winners Jeremy Applebaum, William Gil, and Allen Shin

Annual Application Window

The competition usually begins accepting submissions around May 1. The deadline to submit project materials is September 30.

Tips on How to Win

Whether you decide to modify an existing research project or start from scratch, check the competition guidelines first to confirm that your project is eligible to submit. Check out the About Your Project section on the website to review all the guidelines. There, you will also find the guidelines for compiling your research report. Ensuring your project is eligible and that your submission meets all the guidelines is the first step to becoming a winner.

In this competition, the judges are looking for projects that demonstrate scientific excellence, originality, creativity, academic rigor, and clarity of communication. Last year’s Grand Prize winners developed a new method to improve robot navigation and investigated a protein found in plants that acts as a tumor suppressor.

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2012 Team Finalists Neil Davey and Katie Barufka

For team projects, they are looking for evidence of collaboration. Be sure to make any or all of those elements of your submission shine so they grab the judges’ attention. Also remember to think of your audience. For the initial review, judges are selected by their field of expertise and come from academic and laboratory settings. Keep that in mind as you put together your submission materials and write your research report.