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Amrita Saigal Wins Bronze Medal In Siemens-Westinghouse Competition

Anoop Kumar

Amrita Saigal , a senior from Burlington High School won a bronze medal and a $1000 scholarship at the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The competition recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school.

Amrita Saigal’s research involves Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, potentially a breakthrough alternative energy source.  The cells use the simple reaction of combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce energy.  Ms. Saigal investigated three different methods to crosslink the ion exchange polymer, SPSS-100, in a microcomposite membrane.  She found that layer-by-layer assembly successfully reduced leaching and increased conductivity of the membrane.  Her mentors on the project were Thomas Mendum, Project Scientist, and Dr. Bindu Nair, Senior Engineer, both of Foster-Miller, Inc.

Saigal was invited to Austin, Texas where she presented her work to the judges and her peers. "The experience of being amongst such talented students was a life changing one for me. It opened my eyes to new areas of knowledge that I was unaware of. It was humbling to see how much students of my age have accomplished" said Saigal.

Amrita Saigal is part of the New England Conservatory Youth Philliharmonic orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zanders. She plays the Viola. She has been invited by the Siemens foundation to New York to play at the concert that features Siemens scholoars.

Other winners from New England include, Kiran Pendri, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut and Vikas Murali from
Staples High School, Westport, CT .




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