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U.S. To Send Best And Brightest To Second Apec Youth Science Festival 20 High School Students Selected by AAAS to Attend
Washington, DC (June 14, 2000)—Twenty of the nation's most talented and innovative young scientists will go to Singapore July 25-August 2 as a delegation to the second biennial Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum(APEC) Youth Science Festival. These U.S. high school students were selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science with cooperation from six other organizations that are part of a nationwide AAAS network to facilitate international science education in the United States.
Key events at the festival will include demonstrations of research projects, youth exhibitions of inventions and science-related art works, cultural performances, hands-on science field trips, scientific lectures and other activities with APEC counterparts.
The students and adult chaperones chosen are among the best this country has to offer in the fields of math, science and engineering. AAAS worked to ensure that the delegates are excellent young representatives of the United States, as demonstrated by their success in U.S. science competitions, and that they will benefit from having their educational horizons broadened and their circle of friends enlarged beyond their shores. One of the key goals of the AAAS selection process of both students and chaperones was to build a delegation representative of American geography, race, gender and other factors.
The student delegates are: Nisha Nagarkatti (Blacksburg, Virginia), Jennifer Pelka (Orlando, Florida), Helen Cheng (San Diego, California), Rebecca Wahlberg (Austin, Texas), Christine Concho (Barstow, California), John Korman (Greer, South Carolina), Yosun Chang (Fremont, California), David Mericle (Madison, Wisconsin), Jeremy Farris (Bonaire, Georgia), Ross Lang (Yardley, Pennsylvania), Naveen Sinha, (Los Alamos, New Mexico), Megan Juel (Duluth, Minnesota), Hannah Kolk (Burke, Virginia), Rebecca Kozitza (Salem, Oregon), Harold Allen (Chicago, Illinois), Ashley Sarracino (Casa Blanca, New Mexico), Zachary Gerson (Charlotte, Vermont), Andrew Miller (Stanford, California), Michael Ian Pamphlet (Chicago, Illinois) and Megan Schnagl Springfield, Virginia).
The chaperones, who are science educators active in research work, are: Shelly Valdez (New Laguna, New Mexico), Ann Gattis (Farmington, New Mexico), Sharon McElroy (Borden, Indiana), Claudette Bradley (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Marnie Boyd (Chicago, Illinois).
At a time when the U.S. science and math education system is being criticized for falling short when compared to those of other nations, the festival offers a chance for American students to show their strength in these areas. Two U.S. students received awards for excellence at the first APEC Youth Science Festival held in Korea in 1998.
The AAAS Pacific Rim Initiative, in cooperation with the AAAS Directorate for Education and Human Resources, developed the rigorous selection process and gathered nominations from a nationwide network of organizations that hold annual high school science competitions. Delegates came from candidates identified through the following organizations:
- Advanced Network & Services: Administrator of ThinkQuest Internet Challenge
- Science Service: Administrator of Intel Science Talent Search (Other contests including the International Science and Engineering Fair and the Discovery Young Scientist Communication Competition)
- Junior Engineering Technical Society, Inc. (JETS): Administrator of Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science (TEAMS)
- The National Science Teachers Association: Administrator of the Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition and Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Contest
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES): Administrator of the National American Indian Science & Engineering Fair
- The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): Administrator of the NSBE Scientific Design Competition.
With grant support from the National Science Foundation, AAAS is administering all preparations and logistics for the students and chaperones for this year's and future festivals expected to be held in 2002 and 2004.
APEC was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies. Begun as an informal dialogue group, APEC has since become the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation. Its goal is to advance Asia-Pacific economic dynamism and sense of community. APEC's 21 members include the United States and all the major countries of the region. The idea of having the festival was born in Korea to increase youths' awareness of science. Today's young people will be the scientists of the future, so such an understanding will have a crucial impact on the development of the region.
AAAS' Pacific Rim Initiative, working jointly with the AAAS Directorate for Education and Human Resources,will evaluate and build on the experiences at the festivals through surveys. The festivals are important for encouraging the next generation of U.S. science users, researchers, educators, practitioners and leaders to help build a bright future for America as a Pacific Rim nation. AAAS also will plan and administer post-festival activities to ensure continued learning and promotion of international scientific cooperation and education.
AAAS, the world's largest federation of scientists, works to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs and publications. With more than 143,000 members and 282 affiliated societies, AAAS conducts many programs in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. AAAS publishes the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science, as well as a number of electronic features on the World Wide Web.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Members of the press are encouraged to attend the festival. For information, contact Laura Humphrey at 202-326-6431 or firstname.lastname@example.org