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Breck students receive Grand Awards at International Competition

Monday, May 8, 2017


Breck students at ISWEEEP Grand Award Ceremony
(Cole Maxwell, Maggie Scott, Archana Murali and Gennie Weiler)

Four students from Breck’s Advanced Science Research program competed at the 10th Annual International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, Environment Project Olympiad (ISWEEEP) held in Houston, Texas, on May 3 through 8. High school students representing 62 countries competed this year.

Cole Maxwell '18, Archana Murali '17, and Maggie Scott '17 received ISWEEEP’s top honor, the Gold Medal Winner recognition, accompanied by a cash award of $750. Genevieve Weiler '17 was named a Bronze Medal Winner, a distinction accompanied by a $150 cash award.

Reflecting on the experience, Cole and Maggie shared, “At ISWEEEP, we were able to connect with students from around the world over a shared passion and love for STEM. It was truly a life-changing experience that we will never forget.”

On public viewing day, competitors had the opportunity to share their research with around 2,000 students and teachers from the Greater Houston Area. During judging, projects were evaluated by 355 professional judges who evaluated them based on scientific thought, originality, scientific understanding, and presentation ability.

Gennie enjoyed her experiencing, saying, “ISWEEEP felt like an truly international event. Meeting students from all around the world gave me perspective on both the challenges that other students face and the remarkable ways that they can overcome them.”

Over the past 10 years, ISWEEEP has supported:

  • 2,768 projects presented by 3,413 U.S. students,
  • 1,908 projects presented by 2,640 international students from 70 countries, and
  • Over 25,000 local area students who have visited the event.

ISWEEEP’s mission is to create a collaborative yet competitive environment in which students can present their innovative ideas to take on today’s challenges in energy, engineering, and environment, which will ensure a sustainable world for tomorrow.

During the week, students were given the chance to tour the Space Center of Houston as well as the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. Reflecting on these experience, Archana said, “The trip to the NASA museum was my favorite part of the fair, and I like their motto: Learn, share, compete, grow. I feel like this embodies ISWEEEP and Breck's Advanced Science Research program.”

Among Breck’s signature programs is Advanced Science Research. The Advanced Science Research Program enables Upper School students to participate in professional research experiences and teaches them to effectively communicate their research to the larger community. Breck believes that the opportunity to do research and work with mentors will encourage talented students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

This program also serves to strengthen ties between the research community and Breck. The program combines a summer of in-depth university research followed by a seminar-style class at Breck in which participants work together on preparing written and oral presentations of their findings and enter appropriate competitions. ISWEEEP is just one of the many competitions that students are encouraged to enter throughout the year, and the diversity of competitions and experiences gives students exposure to the research world and insight into future careers.

The projects

Breck students with Dr. Soner Tarim, CEO of Harmony Public Schools

Cole Maxwell ’18 and Maggie Scott ’17

Cancer and Tick-borne Bacteria: Identification of bartonella and borrelia as possible promoters of melanoma metastasis 

Archana Murali ’17

Window to the brain: Using retinal biomarkers to predict progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Genevieve Weiler ’17

Exploring the use of a hydrostatic transmission in a mid-size wind turbine




Related Web sites:

International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, Environment Project Olympiad,

Breck Advanced Science Research,