PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County
participated for the first time in the Intel International Science
and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest
international pre-college science competition, held the week of May
14 at the David Lawrence Convention Center.
Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from
more than 75 countries, regions and territories are awarded
the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete
for on average $4 million in prizes. Intel ISEF unites these
top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an
international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and
judge their work.
CCAC participated in the Intel ISEF Education Outreach
Program during Public Day on May 17, which was attended by
approximately 2,500 local students and their teachers. The overall
goal was to showcase CCAC's diverse STEM-based offerings and how
these programs are custom designed for entering into the workforce
upon completion of an associate degree or certificate.
Representatives from CCAC showcased Biology, Physics, Chemistry
and Mechatronics, demonstrating some fundamental science
techniques and explaining that the same techniques can be applied
in industry and research.
"We were able to attract many young minds and motivate them
in the STEM discipline," said Abiraman Srinivasan, CCAC
associate professor of Biology and a standing judge at the
competition. "Also, many parents and students came to our stall
and learned about our various STEM degree and
certificate programs that are being offered
A total of 11 faculty and staff members from CCAC North and
Boyce campuses and West Hills and Braddock Hills centers, along
with seven Biology students, participated in the fair. They
demonstrated basic experiments and emphasized how the college's
STEM programs train students in understanding scientific concepts
while preparing them for transfer to a four-year institution or for
the hi-tech workforce. A major attraction for attendees was the 3-D
printer from the CCAC Mechatronics Department, which created a
perfect replica of the NASA Space Shuttle.
"There was a lot of 'wow factor,' and we were able to
attract a large number of students," said Srinivasan. "We
were situated between MIT and CMU; all the elite institutions were
there, and CCAC was there along with them."
For more information about CCAC's STEM programs, go to:
Manning the CCAC booth at the fair are (from the left) student
Austin Fitch, administrator James Bender, faculty members Joshua
Kern and Rakesh Shah, administrator Dean Baktay, and faculty
members Abiraman Srinivasan and Dale Jacobs.
CCAC Mechatronics Adjunct Professor Joshua Kern and Mechatronics
student Austin Fitch demonstrate a 3-D printer to students
attending Intel ISEF.