Siemens Foundation names RBHS students as finalists

Parker Sutherland

Oct. 21– The Siemens Foundation announced semifinalists and regional finalists of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology,  naming two RBHS students in the competition.
Senior Walter Wang received semifinalist in the competition.. Senior Nicholas Sun received regional finalist and will continue the competition with an oral presentation in front of a selection committee of College Board members at Notre Dame on Nov. 18-19.
“Competition is administered annually by the College Board, and awards college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories,” Siemens Foundation’s website said. “Regional finalists will go head-to-head presenting their research with peers across the nation. Regional Finals begin on November 4, 2011. The events are hosted by six of America’s leading research universities: Georgia Institute of Technology (Nov. 4-5); California Institute of Technology (Nov. 4-5); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 11-12); The University of Texas at Austin (Nov. 11-12); Carnegie Mellon University (November 18-19) and University of Notre Dame (November 18-19).”
Sun’s project featured Nano port detection of biomolecules. Basically, Sun modified a contraption that acted as a representation of molecules passing through a cell, creating a filter that would allow molecules to be identified while passing through a cell.
“Basically we created a chamber to two sides and we sealed off the middle,” Sun said. “The only way to get through to either side is a small itty bitty pore that is Nano in size, and then we detect things that go through it. Using this technology you can see exactly what kind of molecules are going through. By seeing how often the molecules go through, and what type they are, you can guess if people are going to get cancer or disease.”
Upon receiving word of his finalist status, Sun’s pride swelled and his confidence grew in knowing that his chances continue in the competition, even though he was prepared to not continue on.
“I wanted to test my skills. I just said I wanted to enter the competition because I did all the stuff why not enter into a competition and see how well it varies against other people,” Sun said. “I was proud I beat Walter. Yeah, it was awesome. The best part [of this experience] was winning.”
Sun worked on the writing process of the presentation for a month alone. As he finished, entrance into the competition faced an unlikely, almost ironic obstacle the night before the project’s submission was supposed to be in.
“This is a really funny story. This is what p— me off forever. It was like 6 p.m. the day before I had to send it in,” Sun said. “I was done, I was done; I was gonna send it in. Then as I was looking through it I realized that one of the pictures had moved and it was like blocking [the words]. So I tried to move it back. Then I scrolled up and was, like, I’m gonna check the rest of the paper and I scrolled back down and saw, oh, it moved back to where it was. I tried to move it back [to where] it was supposed to be and then it just wouldn’t stick. It, literally, took me two hours to move a picture to the right position not even kidding it took me two hours to move a picture to the right position. I was p—, and I was done. I was like ‘what the frick.’”
By Parker Sutherland