Siemens Semi-finalists

Tessa Peierls, Assistant News Editor

Seniors Rachel Kogan and Sam Goldman became the first Schreiber researchers in years to progress as semi-finalists in the Siemens competition.
Rachel Kogan, a senior in the science research program, expressed her excitement over moving on.
“I am just ecstatic,” said Kogan. “I did not expect it, and I’m really grateful.”
Goldman’s project focuses on a plant in Africa (Cassava) that feeds the native population, but can be infected with Cassava Brown Streak Disease.
“Cassava is faced with a spreading virus known as Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV) that makes the plant inedible.” said Goldman in his executive summary.
Through his research using a “network based” approach, he was able to identify the genes that were changed through the disease. If his work is continued, it could lead to a way to create resistance in the plants.
The Siemens Foundation first began the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology in 1999, and it seeks to encourage research in high school students.
“Siemens looks for high quality research,” said Kogan. “Their first round is based purely on level of research.”
College scholarships are awarded to students who place at regional and national levels, ranging from $1000 to $100,000.
“I didn’t expect to be a semifinalist at all, so it’s a really nice surprise.” said Goldman. “Hopefully it’s a good sign for Intel and the rest of the competitions I enter, but even if it’s not, it was a good experience to have.”
Kogan’s project also shows promise for future breakthroughs.
“My project has to do with controlling cell death receptors, which are often used during chemotherapy. My study is a pioneering step in developing a novel form of drugs specific to different forms of cancer,” she said.