H/News/National Talent Finalist Inspired by DSC Leads Hall of Fame Class

National Talent Finalist Inspired by DSC Leads Hall of Fame Class

It was nearly a decade ago when an eight-year-old girl with lopsided pigtails sat absentmindedly during a summer camp at the Da Vinci Science Center.

When the girl dropped a few pennies into a solution set before her, the resulting chemical reaction produced a flash of orange that pierced her eyes, opened her mouth with amazement, and awakened her passion for the excitement that science brings to life.

That girl is now a young woman named Joy Wang, who will enroll at Stanford University in Stanford, Ca., in the fall of 2013. Wang’s most extensive research focuses on Polyoxovanadate-based surfactants – compounds which act as both catalysts and surfactants, which are substances that lower the surface tension of a liquid, the tension between two liquids, or the tension between a liquid and a solid.

Not only has Joy Wang brought ExSCIting Possibilities to life as one of the brightest stars in the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition, she has created a club in her school district that is sharing the light of inspiration with today’s elementary school students.

The Intel Science Talent Search finalist was one of ten 2013 Da Vinci Science Center Hall of Fame Award winners honored Saturday evening during the 2013 Da Vinci Science Center Hall of Fame Gala, presented by PPL Corporation. The gala – which is the Da Vinci Science Center’s flagship fundraising event – was held at the Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) Community Services Center in Schnecksville, Pa.

Greg Butz – President and CEO of Alvin H. Butz, Inc. of Allentown, Pa. – received the Center’s Spirit of Verrocchio Mentorship Award. The award is named after a 15th century mentor of a young Leonardo da Vinci. Lutron Electronics Company of Coopersburg, Pa., received the Center’s Grand Maestro Corporate Award.

The 2013 award-winning students and educators live and work as far north as Saylorsburg, Pa. and as far south as Souderton, Pa. They also represent the urban Allentown, Bethlehem Area, and Easton Area school districts; the suburban Parkland School District; and homeschooling.

“The 2013 class of Hall of Fame Award winners exemplifies the Da Vinci Science Center’s emergence as the leader in bringing science to life and lives to science throughout all of eastern Pennsylvania,” said Lin Erickson, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “These curious minds also remind us that science and technology offer great opportunities for people of all types and from all types of environments.”

Three students received the 2013 Student Excellence Awards:

  • Joy Wang is a senior at Parkland High School; her award was sponsored by Air Products.
  • Brendan Betts is a senior at Easton Area High School in Easton, Pa.; his award was sponsored by Art and Denise Katsaros, LSI, and Fran and Pat Waller.
  • Emily Thompson – winner of the Spirit of Leonardo Award for enthusiasm for science and the arts – is a senior at Souderton Area High School in Souderton, Pa.; her award was sponsored by Bob and Sandy Lovett.

Ambrose Cavalier – a fifth grade homeschooled student from Saylorsburg, Pa. – received the Center’s Young Scientist Award. Ambrose is the second young inventor who has entered the United States Patent process because of his participation in Da Vinci Science Center programs. His award was sponsored by Frank and Yvonne Schweighardt.

Four educators of grades K-12 received the Center’s Educator Excellence Awards:

  • Kimberly Graham and Jeanne Muthard are first grade teachers at Luis A. Ramos Elementary School in Allentown, Pa.; their award was sponsored by B. Braun.
  • Rick Amato is a science teacher at Nitschmann Middle School in Bethlehem, Pa.; his award was sponsored by Just Born.
  • Ken Hamilton is an Environmental Sciences Teacher at Souderton Area High School and is Founder and Advisor of the school’s award-winning Students Against Violating the Earth (SAVE) Club; his award was sponsored by LSI.
  • Educator Excellence Awards also were supported by Classroom Enrichment Sponsor Thermo Fisher Scientific. Rising Scientist Awards for Honorable Mention also were presented to Corey Husic, a senior at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa., and Aditya Misra, a senior at Parkland High School in Allentown, Pa. Their awards were sponsored by Avantor Performance Materials and Computer Aid.

    The Da Vinci Science Center has bestowed its Hall of Fame Awards annually since 1999 with the approval of its Hall of Fame selection committees and the Executive Committee of its Board of Trustees. All award winners have study, work, or live in the Da Vinci Science Center’s primary service area in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.

    Additional sponsors of the 2013 Da Vinci Science Center Hall of Fame Gala included Awardee Showcase and Reception Sponsor ATAS International, Inc.; VIP Lounge Sponsor Alvin H. Butz, Inc.; Future Innovator Presentation Sponsor Lutron Electronics Company; and Vitruvian Trophy Sponsor Fowler and Peña Creations.


    News Media Contact @DSC: Dennis Zehner, 484.664.1002, Ext. 112
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