Published: May 18, 2015
Mr. Gibbs relayed the following news release; Ashwin was one of the students involved in the 2014 teams, and his project was inspired by his JPL tour taken with NITARP. Congratulations Ashwin!
Glencoe sophomore Ashwin Datta won the 1st Place award in Engineering Mechanics category at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, PA on Friday, May 15, 2015. The 1st place award is the highest achievement ever earned by a Hillsboro student in the 11 years of HSD participation. Ashwin’s research produced a novel way to protect sensors and optics on the NASA Curiosity Mars rover from the damaging effects of Martian dust and contaminants.
Ashwin’s interest in the NASA Curiosity rover developed from a tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Glencoe physics teacher John Gibbs. His adult sponsor, teacher Susan Weidkamp, reports that NASA engineers have approached Ashwin to work with them as soon as possible. One of the problems Ashwin was encountering was electrical arcing in the low pressure environment of Mars. NASA engineers reported that they had actually started to do research in this area about the same time he did, but Ashwin actually discovered a way of overcoming this problem and they told him he should patent his idea.
Ashwin was interviewed prior to winning by Oregon Public Broadcasting:
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair honors the world’s most promising student scientists, inventors and engineers. Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs including the Beaverton Hillsboro Science Expo. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by approximately 1,000 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines. A full listing of finalists is available in the event program. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, approximately US$4 million was awarded. To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org, and follow the organization on Facebookand Twitter.
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