WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Siemens Foundation, a national leader in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, has named Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the recipient of its 2012 Siemens Foundation Founder's Award. The annual award recognizes outstanding individuals for encouraging students to engage in STEM subjects.
Dr. Holdren will be honored at the 2012 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology National Recognition Gala on Monday evening, December 3, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. The Gala celebrates six individuals and six teams who have distinguished themselves as National Finalists in the nation's premier research competition for high school students. This year's 19 finalists have contributed innovative research projects addressing global challenges ranging from cancer and brain disorders to infectious diseases. The National Finalists are competing for a total of $500,000 in college scholarships, including two top prizes of $100,000.
"The Siemens Foundation is honored to recognize Dr. Holdren for his outstanding efforts to increase student engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Thomas N. McCausland, Chairman of the Board, Siemens Foundation. "His contributions through such initiatives as the White House Science Fair have sent a strong signal to students, parents and teachers nationwide that participating in STEM subjects is a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor."
"I am grateful for this recognition, but the really good news is that STEM education is not just a priority of mine—it is a deep and abiding priority of President Obama," said Dr. Holdren. "I can assure you that this Administration will continue to work tirelessly in collaboration with corporations, academia, nonprofits, and others in order to support and inspire our Nation's STEM students and teachers."
Trained in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics at MIT and Stanford, Dr. Holdren is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society of London and a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to joining the Obama administration, he was a professor in both the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard, as well as Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. From 1973 to 1996 he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources.
The Siemens Foundation Founder's Award was established in 2004 in honor of Albert Hoser, the founder and Chairman emeritus of the Siemens Foundation. Mr. Hoser established the Foundation in July 1998 to promote and support science and mathematics education in the United States. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Corporation.
Previous recipients of the Siemens Foundation Founder's Award include Dr. Terrence Bissoondial, a biological research teacher at George W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett, New York. Dr. Bissoondial is the mentor of one of this year's National Finalist teams: Jeremy Appelbaum, William Gil and Allen Shin. The keynote speaker at this year's National Recognition Gala is Leland D. Melvin, NASA's Associate Administrator for Education.
The Siemens Competition
Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science research competition for high school students. 2,255 students registered to enter the Siemens Competition this year for a total 1,504 projects submitted. 323 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists, representing 25 states. Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities which host the regional competitions: California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame and The University of Texas at Austin.
Follow us on the road to the Siemens Competition: Follow us on Twitter @SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation. Then visit www.siemens-foundation.org at 9:30am EST on December 4 for a live webcast of the National Finalist Awards Presentation.
The Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
SOURCE Siemens Foundation