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Student Invents Solar Tree

On a hike through the Catskill Mountains in New York, seventh-grader Aidan Dwyer noticed that the branches of oak trees seemed to grow in a certain pattern. Inspired to try his hand at biomimicry, he created a tree-like arrangement of small solar panels capable of generating 20-50% more energy than traditional flat designs.

Dwyer’s solar tree is based on a mathematical concept called the Fibonacci sequence, which was discovered in the late middle ages.

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Ebone Pierce


Dillard University, New Orleans, La.

Mechanical Engineering & Physics

“I really chose to become a mechanical engineer because I love to build and create things that will benefit others. I love to help people, and to see a smile on their faces is when I feel most accomplished.”

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Nicholas Silva


Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Electrical Engineering

“After my father taught me the mechanical ins and outs of my first car, I took it upon myself to study the electrical system. I developed an interest in car stereos, and before I knew it, I was designing speaker boxes and upgrading my vehicle’s electrical backbone. The fact that I could use my car’s engine to spin a pulley on an alternator and generate current really pushed me towards the study of electrical power.”

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SMART Scholarship

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion.

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To Watch: Science is Rock and Roll on ABC

Taboo (left) and Will.i.am. (right) perform as the Black Eyed Peas

In the mood for a little inspiration? Then we suggest you tune in to
i.am FIRST: Science is Rock ‘n’ Roll, a special airing this Sunday (August 14) at 7pm ET on ABC.

Created by Black Eyed Peas singer and rapper Will.i.am in collaboration with Dean Kamen’s FIRST Robotics, the program will feature a star-studded lineup including Bono, Jack Black, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dog, Justin Bieber, and more. Celebrities will discuss the important role that science, technology and engineering has in shaping the modern world, as well as which inventions and inventors inspire them most.

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