May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Clean Tech Competition Announces 2011-2012 Finalists and Grand Prize Winning Teams

Posted: Sunday, April 1st, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va., Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Applied Materials, Inc., in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), today announced the grand prize winning teams and finalists in the first-ever Clean Tech Competition student challenge, presented by Applied Materials. The competition, a collaborative student design contest developed to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators in the field of clean technology, immerses high school students in real-world challenges that illustrate the powerful potential of clean technology to address problems that confront humanity.

“The Clean Tech Competition provides students with the opportunity to understand and appreciate the collaborative nature of today’s innovation process, while illustrating the global need for clean tech solutions,” said Om Nalamasu, chief technology officer of Applied Materials and corporate champion of the Clean Tech Competition. “The Competition aligns with Applied’s dedication to technological innovation and scaling clean tech solutions to complex problems, while demonstrating Applied’s commitment to making a positive contribution in the communities where our employees work and live.”

The competition involved students, ages 13-18, from two global centers of innovation, the San Francisco Bay Area in California, and Xi’an, China. This year’s challenge posed to students was “Solar Solutions to the Rescue.” Teams of students, under the guidance of their teacher or other adult team leader, designed a solar-powered solution to a basic human need identified in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Participants identified a situation, explored the issue and then presented their clean tech solution to a panel of industry and education experts for judging. One grand prize winning team, two second place teams, three third place teams and four finalists were then selected from each region.

“The Clean Tech Competition not only encourages students to be both creative and scientific, but also requires them to think critically while developing innovative sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most challenging issues,” said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director of NSTA. “We congratulate the winners and finalists and commend all of the teachers, team leaders and mentors for engaging and empowering their students to make a real difference in the world around them.”

Project entries submitted by student teams ranged from a tracking system to locate victims swept away by a tsunami or flood to a light-weight, chemically-active filtration mask that utilizes solar and battery power to reduce the risk of developing respiratory problems from overexposure to volcanic ash. Other projects included a solar-powered reverse osmosis water supply system and an emergency communication station that can direct search and rescue teams to a trapped person’s precise location after an earthquake.

The grand prize winning team in each region won $6,000 in cash prizes for their enrichment and education. Second place teams won $3,000, third place teams won $1,000 and the four finalist teams from each region won $500. All 20 team leaders received a $500 cash prize.

The 10 San Francisco/Bay Area, California Finalists are:
Finalist – Jonathon Russo and Matthew Malone
Coach: Allister Chang
Willow Glen High School, San Jose, Calif.
Project: L.A.T.S. (Location Awareness & Tracking System)

Finalist – Lillian Chu, Marian Chu and Joshua Tsuei
Coach: Lisa Cochrum
Mentor: Ken Chu
Saratoga High School, Saratoga, Calif.
Project: How to Keep Food Fresh After an Earthquake

Finalist – Kadhir Manickam and Christopher Oh
Coach: Renee Fallon
Mentor: Suketo Parikh
Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: The Facio

Finalist – Ray Chen, Catherine Nguyen and Margaret Qian
Coach: Bakari Holmes
Mentor: Hemant Mungekar
Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif.
Project: Earthquake Emergency Communication System (EECS)

Finalist – Linxuan Fang, Samir Ghosh and Jaxon Welsh
Coach: Bakari Holmes
Mentor: Darshini Desai
Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif.
Project: Project Sizzle

Finalist – Eric Linxie, Anthony Lim, Kenny Wibowo and Eric Lee
Coach: Robert Jackson
Mentor: Daniel Handjojo
Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon Calif.
Project: Solar Cube Battery

Finalist – Maya Sathaye, Shelby Rorabaugh and Lorraine Wong
Coach: Smriti Koodanjeri
Mentor: Martin Gothberg
The Harker School, San Jose Calif.
Project: A Solar Alternative to Charge Electric Wheelchairs

Finalist – Mary Gong and Surabhi Madhvapathy
Coach: Ram Narayanan
Mentor: Michael Stewart
Leland High School, San Jose, Calif.
Project: Solar Mask

Finalist – Yuzhang Chen and Aditya Gande
Coach: Daniel Stavis
Mentor: Sushil Padiyar
Cupertino High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: FRED (Flood Relief Emergency Device)

Finalist – John Zhao, Melody Hsu and Jun Chang
Coach: Daniel Stavis
Mentor: Robert Visser
Cupertino High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: H2Oasis

The 10 Xi’an, China Finalists are:
Finalist – Liu Shuaiqi, Bai Tianyang, Chen Shiyin, Zhang Xiyao
Team Leader: Gong Shaohua
School: Xi’an Tie Yi High School
Project: Solar-Powered Airship Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief Schemes

Finalist – Lu Qiangsheng, Zhang Yaodong, Wang Zhizheng, Chen Qingyuan
Team Leader: Liu Quanming
School: The High School Affiliated to Xian Jiaotong University
Project: Multifunctional Flood Mitigation System

Finalist – Wang Huicheng, Lv Wentao, Li Zhuoyan, Wang Guowei
Team Leader: Qiang Zhike
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Parasol-Shaped Portable Solar Emergency Distiller

Finalist – Liu Yifeng, Yang Fan
Team Leader: Liu Quanming
School: The High School Affiliated to Xian Jiaotong University
Project: Solar Energy System of Prefabricated House

Finalist – Jia Bingxin, Yang Peilin, Liu Yundong, Jiang Shenghui
Team Leader: Gao Yuan
School: Middle School Affiliated to Northwest University
Project: Solar energy applications for earthquake relief

Finalist – Guo Yushuai, Zhang Tongrui, Guo Rongxin
Team Leader: Gao Yuan
School: Middle School Affiliated to Northwest University
Project: The Scheme for Solar Mobile Phone Relief

Finalist – Dang Shuxuan, Zhang Zhong, Li Wei
Team Leader: Cai Min
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Portable Machine Providing Emergency Food By Algae

Finalist – Wang Shiqi, Wang Yutian, Zhao Runhan
Team Leader: Cai Min
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Medical solar portable x-ray viewer used after earthquakes

Finalist – Zhao Pu, Zhang Jiameng, Zhang Mengdi
Team Leader: Han Lei
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Dual phase Waste Water Purifier

Finalist – Cheng Yuhan, Guo Zhaoqi, Yang Yihao
Team Leader: Dang Yali
School: Xi’an Gao Xin No.1 High School
Project: A Brief Script of the Solar Amphibious Tent

For more information about the Clean Tech Competition, visit .

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT +0.16% is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. At Applied Materials, we turn today’s innovations into the industries of tomorrow. Learn more at

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

SOURCE: National Science Teachers Association and Applied Materials, Inc.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or

New Information Now Available On-line:

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy:

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.