Philly-area students honored in White House Science Fair

AT THE White House Science Fair yesterday, President Obama checks out the soccer-playing robot built by a student team from Wissahickon High School in Ambler. They won the Chairman's Award at the 2010 FIRST Robotics Championship in Atlanta.
AT THE White House Science Fair yesterday, President Obama checks out the soccer-playing robot built by a student team from Wissahickon High School in Ambler. They won the Chairman's Award at the 2010 FIRST Robotics Championship in Atlanta.
Posted: October 19, 2010

Several student science-contest winners from the Philadelphia region were recognized by President Obama at the first White House Science Fair on Monday.

The fair, which showcased the work of 85 students, is part of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign aimed at moving U.S. students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.

Among local students exhibiting at the fair were:

Raina Jain, a senior at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pa., who won first place at the International BioGENEius Challenge for her research. She analyzed whether cells adhere better to rough or smooth surfaces of Bioglass, which could lead to improved bone implants.

Evan Ostrow, Ryan Morris, Emily Ostrow, Gina Triolo, and Jennifer Hercheck of Ambler, representing Wissahickon High School's Robotics Program, which won the Chairman's Award, the highest honor at the 2010 FIRST Robotics Championship, for their robot, Miss Daisy. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges high school student teams to build robots from a kit of hundreds of parts, competing against 340 teams.

Jordan Franssen and Nathan Bernhardt of Penn Manor High School's rocketry team in Lancaster, who won the Team America Rocketry Challenge and the Transatlantic Rocketry Challenge, giving them the title of best rocketry students in the world.


Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or kboccella@phillynews.com.

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