We welcome your participation in today's interactive Roundtable. In addition to those of you in the audience, this event is also being video conferenced to students in other states, as well as recorded for web viewing by hundreds more around the country.
Today's roundtable allows us to bring together the achievers of today with the innovators of tomorrow. As much as science and technology were a part of our lives in the 20th Century, it hardly compares to the imaginative future you will see in the 21st Century. The logo on your program was created just for this event to give you a sense of technology's role in creating a better tomorrow.
What does it mean to be an innovator? You do not have to be a genius. You do not always have to be right. It is being a dreamer, explorer, and experimenter. It is using your imagination to find a creative solution, a better product, a new way of doing things. Innovators continue to expand the Internet, discover new medicine, and help us explore outer space. Technology is making inventions a reality that would have been thought of as science fiction only a short time ago. These good ideas are creating jobs, wealth, and even newer ideas. The good jobs waiting for you will demand math, science, and computer skills unknown to workers only a generation ago. Today we hope to showcase talent, hard work, imagination-even failure-that will bridge generations to celebrate the present and fire our imagination for tomorrow.
Thank you for joining us today. I hope your active participation will inspire you to start a dialogue with your parents, teachers and other role models that will help you chart a challenging roadmap for your own future
Dr. Cheryl L. Shavers
Recognizing America's Innovators
National Medal of Technology
The National Medal of Technology is the highest honor our country awards to technology innovators. The Medal was established by Congress in 1980, and first awarded by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. Each year, the President awards the Medal to individuals, teams, or companies for outstanding innovation, developments, commercialization, or management of technology. The criteria for the award are successful establishment of new or significantly improved products, processes, or services. The U.S. Technology Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and your host today, administers the National Medal of Technology program.
The primary purpose of the National Medal of Technology is to recognize technological innovators who have made lasting contributions to American economic competitiveness and our standard of living. The Medal spotlights the national importance of fostering technological innovation, based upon solid science, resulting in commercially successful products and services.
As part of its mission of recognizing technology's contribution to American life, the National Medal of Technology program supports quality education programs that encourage young people to explore the wonder and challenge of careers in technology.
Young Scientist Challenge
The Discovery Young Scientist Challenge (DYSC) is a national science competition for middle-school students (grades 5-8). Discovery Communications, one of the largest science knowledge learning content providers in the world, and Science Service, a respected non-profit organization that promotes science education, teamed up to launch DYSC in 1999. The 1999 and 2000 Challenges were huge successes and Discovery expects DYSC to endure well into the future.
Discovery created DYSC to encourage students to explore science, and encourage students who are inquisitive about science to share their enthusiasm with their peers. The DYSC judges assess students' ability to conduct sound research, perform science experiments, and draw conclusions. They also assess students' ability to effectively communicate their findings, and express the wonders of science to others. The DYSC differs from most contests due to its emphasis on individual communication and leadership skills.
For Additional Information: http://www.discovery.com/
The Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) is an exciting new kind of science fair founded and administered by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and sponsored by UCF, the National Medal of Technology office, Microsoft, Federal Express, other corporate sponsors, and the Foundation of the Electronic Industries Alliance.
Teams of students and their teachers collaborate with industry experts to produce science research projects, and communicate those findings through a website the students erect themselves on their school's website. A distinctive feature of the ISTF is that all of the information is gathered and analyzed from the Internet and through E-mail. Students at three levels-elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-9) and high school (grades 10-12) apply National Critical Technologies to real world problems.
ISTF encourages students to learn how to use and produce Internet materials, and apply these technologies to a problem facing their community. During the process they learn about the science that led to the technology they use. They also learn about the impact technology has on their lives, the world, and the economy. The high-school level ISTF web pages include a new product focus. The students demonstrate how they would market a new product they develop, and show what kind of education would be needed to pursue a career in the National Critical Technology field in which the product was created.
For additional information: http://istf.ucf.edu/
opportunity for young innovators on the threshold of new discoveries
November 30, 2000
Young Scientist Challenge Winners
Science and Technology Fair Winners
Medal of Technology Laureates
The Discovery Young Scientist Challenge (www.discovery.com) Federal Award Winners
David Meigooni, 14, of Lexington, Kentucky, examined "The Effect of Curcumin as a Sensitizer of Radiation on Human Cancer Cells." David's previous experiments with curcumin, a derivative of the spice turmeric, where he measured the effect of radiation and curcumin on PC3 prostate cancer, showed that cell kill for both radiation and curcumin was similar. From these outcomes, he tested the two together to see if that change would increase cell kill. David found that a small amount of curcumin can increase the effect of radiation on cancer cells, and concluded that curcumin acts as a cell sensitizer on PC3 cancer cells. In addition to his research, David enjoys biking, swimming, and running and hopes to compete in a triathlon some day. David's cancer experiments over the past five years have inspired him to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist or cancer researcher.
The Youth Technology Medal is awarded to the student finalist at the Discovery Young Scientist Challenge who best demonstrates excellence in the use of technology to perform scientific inquiry. The award demonstrates the US Department of Commerce's commitment to encourage more young people to pursue interests in science and technology education as the basis for ensuring continued technology innovation and economic growth in the 21st century.
Most of us recoil a little when we find worms underneath rotting leaves or in a log. Marisa Ingrum is fascinated by them-and compared their ability to process organic matter in her project, "Decomposition Derby: How do Redworms and Pill Bugs Compare in Affecting the Rate of Decomposition?" She set up terrariums housing both species of decomposers, in singular and combined settings. Marisa used the fact that pill bugs break down larger pieces of organic matter while redworms digest smaller pieces, to hypothesize that the terrariums containing both types of creatures would experience faster decomposition than the terrariums containing just one type. Marisa monitored several factors including temperature, ph, and fungal activity, and found that the terrariums containing only redworms decomposed at a faster rate than did the combination terrariums. She concluded that worm excrement not only attracts bacteria but also causes the bacteria to become more active more quickly, thus increasing the rate of decomposition.
The National Park Service's National Park Explorer Award is awarded to the finalist who: a) demonstrates scientific knowledge about, and interest in, the natural world; and b) best displays continual "grace under fire" with his/ her teammates. The winner also will have an opportunity to work side-by-side with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are conducting the first-ever, comprehensive survey of living things in the 800 square-mile park.
Vaishali Grover, of Miami, Florida, evaluated whether fruit enzymes can be used to control garden snails, in her project entitled "Snail Trails." Vaishali noticed while watering her papaya tree, that many empty snail shells were around the base of the tree. She investigated and found that the papaya fruit contains an enzyme called papain, which is commonly used as a meat tenderizer. Vaishali hypothesized that papain could be used to control garden snails in lieu of environmentally hazardous pesticides. After concocting dried papaya-based bait and testing the snails' reaction to it, she found that the snails became immobilized by the papain in a significantly shorter time period than with commercial pesticides-at significantly lower cost. Vaishali enjoys flying kites with her father, and keeping on top of current events by reading the newspapers. She hopes to combine her love of botany and genetic engineering to pursue a career in seed engineering.
The Smithsonian Young Natural Scientist award is given to the Discovery Young Scientist Challenge finalist who best shows unusual resourcefulness, critical thinking, and an understanding of the inter-relationship between applied and basic research. Vaishali will participate in an expedition with Nate Erwin, a scientist with the Natural History Museum's O. Orkin Insect Zoo.
Neal Amin, 13, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, noticed that his aunt suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and uses turmeric to relieve her pain. So he investigated: "Does Turmeric Powder have the Power to Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers?" He hypothesized that turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, decreases the amount of TNFa, the toxin that causes inflammation of joints. For his experiment, Neal visited a pharmaceutical company laboratory and produced TNFa. After many tests, he found that curcumin does block TNFa production and, therefore, he determined that turmeric powder has the potential to help reduce inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Neal's love for science stems from his aspiration to be like his parents, who are both scientists. In his spare time, Neal enjoys playing soccer and tennis.
The Smithsonian Young Innovator Award is given to the student who best indicates perseverance and determination in their project. The student wins the opportunity to spend a day in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and lunch with a Nobel laureate. He also will participate in a symposium related to the museum's 2001 symposium and program series, Nobel!
Team: Ilya Chalyt, Sarah Chang, Joe Dietrich, Davy Kim, Amy Lee, Dex
Polizzi, Ryan Walden
For our ISTF project, our National Critical Technology category was Living Systems with the technology sub-area of Medical Devices and Equipment. The purpose of our project is to improve the quality of life for the handicapped, the elderly, and their caretakers. Our parents may eventually be unable to survive without constant monitoring. MEDWatch will help us provide that monitoring. We are excited about our project and its potential to improve many lives.
MEDWatch consists of two portable hand-held devices that allow the patient and the guardian to communicate with each other from far distances. This device allows the patient and guardian to communicate visually as well as audibly as well as having emergency buttons that immediately alerts the guardian as well contacting 911. These emergency buttons are motion-sensors that will activate when the patient is not in motion for more than 5 minutes. There is also a heart rate monitor that will constantly check the patient's pulse. There are also channels that allow the guardian to switch back and forth from different patients.
One device has up to four channels. There are also channels on the patients' devices that allow them to communicate with each other as well as their guardian. These channels have sound systems that beep the other person whom they wish to communicate with, or beep the patient when another person is trying to communicate with them. The guardian can still have access to all the patients' devices no matter what unless the device is deactivated. This is because anything can happen and the guardian must be alerted.
Team: Marciar Bana, Leticia Otero, Carolyn Nicolls
Our team has elected to focus on biotechnology, drug development, and protein crystallography. Growing protein crystals is a critical element for designing cures or means of completely inhibiting diseases such as HIV and cancer. Our technical application may impact the introduction of theses processes in elementary and secondary education by enabling students to learn the fundamentals and importance of protein crystal growth methods.
Wheatley Elementary School
Wheatley Team: Donevious Holley, Aisha Hugley, Diamonique Swanson,
Jasmine Davis, Ashlyn Lilly, Rodney Thomas, Stephen Bassett, Ansel Audain,
Team: Amanda Berry, Erik Brown, Arun Verma, Jad Bailey, Ben Krauth,
Jamie Norton, Bhavi Patel, Jason Moses, Robert Brad Harris, Jeremy Blawn,
Brian Lempel, Mike Sandford, Brian LeJeune, Noemi Leick, Chris Eaton,
Randy Coslow, Constantin Crachilov, Todd Hales, Daniel Jones, Eileen
Baumgartner, Trooper Lee.
Our group selected the National Critical Technology of Environmental Quality with the technological application of Pollution Control. More specifically, our focus deals with problems associated with wastewater management. We have investigated concerns about current sewage treatment facilities arising from population growth, environmental pollution and legal codes. The purpose of this project is to propose a solution for these maladies, as well as address the need and usage of alternative fuel sources.
The original objective of this project was to combine existing biomass digestion systems with current sewage treatment methods, creating a futuristic integration of outdated technologies. Although innovative, it was soon discovered that this approach had already been implemented in many conventional plants. The project's emphasis was then shifted. How can the capacity of treatment plants to meet the demands of growing, heavily populated areas, be improved when land for expansion is scare? The result was a new design which would confine all of the components requisite to modern wastewater plants into a single, silo-like structure.
Two key technologies are vital to today's high-data-capacity computers that power the Internet, e-mail, and video games: semiconductor memories and magnetic-recording hard disk drives. International Business Machines, a powerhouse industrial-era office equipment maker during the 20th century, invented the first hard drive in the 1950's. Today, the US dominates the hard drive business, and IBM trains many of its leaders. IBM's engineers have applied technology to reduce the cost of hard drive storage space by over 80,000 times (adjusted for inflation) in the past 20 years.
IBM is widely recognized as the world's leader in basic data storage technologies, and holds over 2000 US patents. IBM is a top innovator of component technologies-such as flying magnetic heads (thin film heads, and magnetoresistive heads), film disks, head accessing systems, digital signal processing and coding, as well as innovative hard disk drive systems. Some specific IBM inventions are used in every modern hard drive today: thin film inductive heads, MR and GMR heads, rotary actuators, sector servos and advanced disk designs. These advances outran foreign hard disk technology and enabled the US industry to maintain the lead it holds today.
IBM has contributed greatly to the management and investment sides of hard disk technology as well. IBM's long-term investments in research and development, and strong product-application focus, have helped the company to keep innovations coming. Also, frequent rotation of personnel among product and research divisions helps foster innovation. Recent advances include atomic force microscope and ultra-sharp probe technology.
IBM Chairman and CEO Louis Gerstner is also Chair of the 2001 National Engineers Week. This event is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers to promote interest and careers in this vital aspect of America's technological and scientific economy.
Today you and I can talk with a loved one thousands of miles away inexpensively, or transmit large amounts of data or complex photo files speedily, due to fiber optic cable technology. In 1970, Drs. Donald Keck, Robert Maurer, and Peter Schultz teamed up at the Corning Glass Corporation to co-invent low-loss fiber optic cable. They successfully sent light through a kilometer (three-fifths of a mile) hair-thin piece of glass. This fiber carried light through a single channel and transmitted up to 65,000 times as much information as copper wire, the state-of-the art communications technology at that time.
The invention transformed society and altered the way we live. Each of the 180 million miles of fiber optic cable on line today can carry more than 10 gigabytes of data per second. That's enough capacity to transmit the entire 30-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica from New York to California in that time. Fiber optic cable now carries almost all long-distance calls in the US and has made the global Internet not only a possibility but also a reality. The global information industry has grown to a $1.5 trillion annual business since 1970.
This team of researchers won a worldwide scientific race against US competitors and government-backed Japanese companies. The key to their innovation was to overcome the previous limiting factor of light loss during transmission. By limiting light loss to 30 decibels per mile to 1%, the Corning team created a revolution in communications. Over the next ten years, fiber optic technology is expected to increase communications power a million-fold. New fiber-optic technology allows each hair-thin fiber to carry hundreds of wavelengths simultaneously-and bumps capacity to three trillion bits per second! The work of Drs. Keck, Maurer, and Schultz has contributed enormously to the welfare of humanity by providing access to unlimited information.
Dean Kamen is an example of how one talented, resourceful and determined individual can turn technology to the betterment of many lives. He combines studied knowledge of math and science, business acumen, and deeply innovative creative thinking to create medical devices that help the quality of life for many Americans. At age 49 this self-made inventor has founded three medical device companies and earned more than 100 U.S. and foreign patents. And he still has found time to start and run a national youth organization and robotics competition to catch young imaginations and start their inventive potential humming.
Kamen realized and tapped his inventive creativity early. As a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which was accepted and applied quickly in medical specialties including chemotherapy, neonatology, and endocrinology. He started the AutoSyringe Co. to market the pumps and sold it to the Baxter International Corp. Kamen then founded DEKA Research & Development Corp. to develop internally-generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for corporate clients. Recent projects include the HomeChoiceTM dialysis machine for Baxter, the Crown Stent, and the IndependenceTM 3000 IBOT TransporterTM, a sophisticated electro-mechanical device which allows disabled individuals to climb stairs, traverse rough terrain and even "stand up" at eye-level
A decade ago, Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an advocacy organization that uses wholesale marketing and media techniques to promote science and technology learning and creativity to young people. He has recruited top leaders of U.S. industry, government, and education in support of FIRST's mission. This support helped FIRST's annual student robotics competition, become the largest non-Disney event at EPCOT Center for three years running.
Kamen continues to innovate at DEKA. He is an avid aviator who commutes to work via helicopter, and pilots his own jet.
Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart
Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart, more than any other person, created the personal computing component of the computer revolution. As a computing researcher in the early 1960's, Dr. Engelbart worked with large mainframe machines that did not "interact" with the user. He correctly saw that a close, interactive, and continuous relationship between a computer and its user would make both far more productive. He developed the technology to realize on-time, real-time systems that caused machines to deliver information to their users when they wanted it, all interactively. His work came to define the functionality of personal computing even though some time would pass before the personal computer itself would be affordable for the individual user.
As Director of the laboratory at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Dr. Englebart and his colleagues created many of the concepts and tools of personal computing that we take for granted. These innovations include hypertext and the now-familiar point-and-click mouse.
Dr. Engelbart also invented on-line collaboration, which has revolutionized business and government, and improved worker productivity. He demonstrated this innovation at a 1968 computer conference in San Francisco, jointly editing a document with a collaborator 40 miles south at SRI in Menlo Park. Through video windows on each workstation, they had a full personal and computer-based interaction. Dr. Engelbart started the Network Information Center, which was the exchange for development and use of the ARPANET for anyone getting an address on the ARPANET, and later the Internet, for twenty years.
Dr. Engelbart's early vision of what personal and collaborative computing should be helped direct the evolution of computers into user-friendly and business-efficient machines, as well as the eventual evolution of the World Wide Web. Organizations such as Xerox Park have drawn from his innovations. Engelbart's anticipation of the way computers should and ultimately would serve individuals clearly helped establish the primacy of the United States in the information era and its continuing competitive advantage in that area.
Cool Websites Listing
Shop-Humanoid Robotics Group
Channel Canada Online
DNA from the
Tech-Technology Careers Information Website
and Recognition of Science and Technology
Site with instructions how to build an android.
How Stuff Works
Learn about inventors of life-changing inventions.
KEO Satellite time
cool Site about careers in manufacturing
Institute of Technology Major national science and engineering
Engineering Week 2001
National Museum of
Science and Technology
and Technology Centre
and Technology Week
International Weekly Journal of Science
The Nobel Prize
PBS Science &
PBS NOVA: Time
Challenge: Internet Learning Network
Technology Buzzwords for Students
The Tech Museum
Innovation Museum of computer-related technology in San Jose, CA