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Science Research Project Ideas from our Sponsors


Our sponsors are a very important part of the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair. To increase the number of projects to be considered for a Sponsor Award, Sponsors have supplied us with project criteria to encourage students to conduct research related to the sponsor’s field of interest.

Research Projects Related to Air & Water Pollution
Air & Waste Management of Western PA Section will present two student awards related to air and water pollution.

Research Projects Related to ALCOA
Junior Division (6th grade)
Physical Science & Engineering category Alcoa will present an award to a project that addresses modern world challenges in transportation.
Engineering: Students are encouraged to submit projects that illustrate new and better ways to address the challenges of our modern world, particularly transportation challenges (aerospace, automotive, etc.) as well as energy production, conversion, and storage challenges. Winning strategies would be ones which yield cost-competitive solutions that are equal or higher performance than incumbent solutions as the incumbent, while also meaningfully reduce negative environmental impact.

Intermediate Division (7th and 8th grade)
Physics category: Alcoa will present an award to a project that demonstrates significant use of materials and/or energy. Students are encouraged to submit innovative projects that illustrate how design and/or materials can be used to generate solutions or improve the existing technology. Students should be able to demonstrate the scientific method and communicate the project relevance and value to society.
Chemistry category: Alcoa will present an award to a project that demonstrates significant knowledge of materials. Students are encouraged to submit projects that illustrate how materials can be used to generate innovative solutions to the challenges of the modern world (energy, transportation, etc.) Students should be able to demonstrate the scientific method and communicate the project relevance and value to society.
Engineering/Robotics category: Alcoa will present an award to a project that demonstrates significant knowledge of advanced manufacturing engineering and/or robotics. Students are encouraged to submit innovative projects that involve the application of engineering principles to modern manufacturing, engineering, or scientific challenges. Students should be able to demonstrate the scientific method and communicate the project relevance and value to society.

Senior Division (9th-12th grade)
Chemistry category: Alcoa will present an award to a project that demonstrates significant knowledge of materials with focus on metallurgy. Students are encouraged to submit projects that illustrate how materials with a focus on metallurgy can be used to develop solutions to the challenges of the modern world, from energy production to the transportation needs of a growing population, and more.
Engineering/Robotics category: Alcoa will present an award to a project that demonstrates significant knowledge of advanced manufacturing engineering & robotics. Students are encouraged to submit projects that illustrate the application of sound engineering principles to modern manufacturing challenges. The projects should illustrate the use of engineering, automation, and robotics as tools to improve safety and productivity within a real world manufacturing setting.

Research Projects Related to Allegheny County Health Department
Three students will be awarded in the areas of environmental health, air pollution and public health.

Research Projects Related to ALCOSAN
will present an award to one Senior Division student research project that proves in what way(s) pollution affects the environment. It is required that the project presents the different types of pollution, as well as their effects. The research project must demonstrate high-level thinking and reasoning, knowledge of the subject area, and a concern for water quality.

Research Projects Related to Allegheny County Medical Society Alliance
One Science Fair student and teacher award in the field of medicine/biology presented in honor ACMS Alliance members. Winning projects should promote healthy living, improve public health and/or the advancement of medicine.

Research Projects Related to Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation
Two awards will be presented to students with projects in a topic related to Medicine. Projects should demonstrate ideas that could improve health care for patients in the future or promote quality improvement in a medically related area. The project should demonstrate knowledge of the subject area and how it relates to the field of Medicine.

Research Projects Related to American Society for Quality
American Society for Quality will present an award to a student who applies quality techniques to his/her project. The judging criteria is: the students’ ability to eloquently and accurately describe their project and a theme of quality within the project, which often involves the use of statistical methods for high school students or the inclusion of quantitative reasoning for middle school students.

Research Projects Related to ASM International, Golden Triangle Chapter
An award will be presented to one Science Fair student project in the field of materials science and engineering. The winning project will be chosen based on the following: a) project must be based on some aspect of materials-related concepts, for example: solidification processing, heat treatment, mechanical testing, corrosion, etc.; b) clarity of presentation; c) demonstration of a clear understanding of the scientific method; d) aesthetics - project layout, neatness, readability, etc.

Research Projects Related to The Aviation Foundation
Two student awards will be selected as follows: i) Aviation Weather Prediction - How to predict ceiling, visibility, wind and temperature needed by pilots. ii) Unique Aircraft Design - Develop an unusual design for an aircraft. Determine any advantages of this design.

Research Projects Related to Braskem America
Braskem America will present two awards to students with projects that demonstrate innovation with a focus on sustainability. We have a special interest in the areas of polymers, plastics, engineering, and chemistry.

Research Projects Related to Bridges
Two (2)students awards for bridge related projects sponsored by the Association for Bridge Construction and Design.

Research Projects Related to Carnegie Mellon University, Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach.
Carnegie Mellon will present three student and sponsoring teacher awards. The three student awards are: Carnegie Mellon/Fuel Cell and Energy Technologies. Carnegie Mellon/ Quality of Life Technologies Center and Carnegie Mellon/Student chapter of the Society of Women in Engineering; Female Engineering Project.

Research Projects Related to Chemistry
The Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society will award students for projects that demonstrate creativity and knowledge in topics related to chemistry.

Research Projects Related to CONSOL Energy, Inc.
CONSOL Energy Inc. will present two student awards for projects that demonstrate creativity, significant knowledge, and insight related to the production or use of fossil energy sources or environmental issues related to efficient fossil energy production and conservation. Winning projects may also include creative or innovative applications of fossil energy sources and may be based upon geology, chemistry, physics, engineering, or environmental science.

Research Projects Related to Duquesne University - Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
The Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne University will award three students for their projects based on the areas of biology, chemistry, environmental science, forensics, and physics. Creativity, ingenuity and a strong understanding of the scientific method should be demonstrated.

Research Projects Related to Electrical Power:
Eaton will present awards for projects in the field of engineering relative to electrical power distribution, which demonstrate creativity and knowledge in topics related to energy efficiency, circuit protection, renewable power, electrical safety or power quality.

Research Projects Related to Electrical and Electronics Engineering - IEEE Award
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) will present The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) will present two awards in the field of electrical and electronics engineering. Winning projects will demonstrate significant knowledge of electrical principles, electronics, robotics, computer design, software development or mathematical techniques. Students are encouraged to submit projects to the Science Fair categories such as Engineering, Robotics, Computer, Physical Science, etc. to be considered for these awards.

Research Projects Related to Engineering with applications to the Oil and/or Natural Gas industry.
Chevron will present awards in the field of engineering with applications to the oil and/or natural gas industries. Winning projects will demonstrate significant knowledge of one or more aspects of; the geology of the earth and oil & gas development, formations in the earth with focus on geophysics or the properties and uses of oil and/or natural gas.

Research Projects Related to Innovation Works
Innovation Works will make awards based on the potential to commercialize technology to solve real-world problems. The technology can be based in any scientific or engineering discipline (robotics, energy, life sciences, information technology, materials science, etc.) as long as there is a demonstrable need and the scientific research addresses the need with a solution that could be mass produced and marketed.

Research Projects Related to Internal Steel Cleanliness
The Pittsburgh section of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers will present awards in the steel industry field. Internal Steel Cleanliness is a big issue in our part of the steel industry – that of producing seamless tubes. Projects involvoing manufacturing steel and the reduction of inclusion material is important, and any projects are welcome. Three process surrounding issue of steel cleanliness are: electric steel making, ladle refining and continuous casting of round steel billets. Steel cleanliness in the reduction of inclusion material will be awarded.

Research Projects Related to Industrial Hygiene
The Pittsburgh section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association will present two awards in the field of Industrial Hygiene. Winning projects will be based on how well the student understands the health & safety industry which focuses on issues such as indoor air quality, exposure to chemicals, noise, heat/cold, vibrations, and repetitive motion.

Research Projects Related to Mining, Mining Engineering or the Field of Geology or Mineralogy
The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Pittsburgh Section would like to present an award to a project related to the application of mining and mining engineering or the fields of geology or mineralogy.

Research Projects Related to Neuroscience
Projects related in any way to the nervous system will be judged on their use of sound scientific methods and reasoning, and the quality of results obtained. This award is sponsored by the Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh.

Research Projects Related to Paints, Coatings and Related Materials
PPG will present six (6) awards for projects involving chemistry, physics, engineering, or material science which demonstrate creativity and knowledge in topics related to fiberglass, glass, coatings, paints, plastics, inks, adhesive, color, optically transparent material, polymers or chemicals. Two awards in each division (6th, 7th-8th, 9th-12th).

Research Projects Related to Pittsburgh Geological Society
PGS will present two awards. Awards will be presented for earth science / geoscience projects that examine how the geologic basis of our environment relates to everyday life. Ideas for project topic areas include the following. A rock stratagraphic column is a good place to start as it sets the framework for your investigation. Mineral resources are an important part of the Pennsylvania economy and the legacy of historic mining still causes problems of acid mine drainage, mine subsidence and hazardous materials contamination. Coal, oil, and gas development can interact with rural and urban development and affect both the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources. The current Marcellus shale gas drilling demonstrates the importance of that resource and its associated environmental controversies to the community you live in. Landslides destroy houses, close roads and disrupt utilities. The recognition of causes is an important municipal planning tool. Knowledge of the various types of rock and their properties are aspects of mineralogy, geochemistry, geophysics, geotechnical engineering and the durability of building materials, even gravestones. Fossils are important to understanding the role of evolution in a changing historical landscape and understanding differences in depositional environments. Western PA even has volcanic rocks. Projects are not limited to Pennsylvania problems. Listen / read the news, look at an outcrop, let your mind wonder to the question Why!

Research Projects Related to Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA)
PIPLA
will award two students for projects that demonstrate creative ideas resulting in new and functional processes or devices. Projects in Engineering/Robotics, among others, will be considered.

Research Projects Related to Psychoanalysis
Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center
will make an award(s) that offers a way of understanding ourselves, our relationships and how we conduct ourselves in the world. Winning projects could include the following topics: Dreams, the Unconscious, Development, Relationships, Trauma, or Anxiety/Defense.

Research Projects Related to Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
PSC will make awards based on the effective use of computation (modeling, simulation, visualization, data mining, etc.) in any scientific or engineering discipline (robotics, energy, life sciences, information technology, materials science, consumer science, mathematics, etc.). A computational approach can be integrated into any phase of the project - data analysis, visualization of results, simulation of a process or concept, etc. Visit our website for project ideas and resources.

Research Projects Related to Sigma XI - Carnegie Mellon University
Sigma XI - Carnegie Mellon University awards a student in any discipline of science or mathematics for a project that shows innovation, diligence, relevance to everyday life and quantitative analysis. We have a special interest in experiment design and use of statistical methods to interpret results.

Research Projects Related to Spectroscopy
An award will be presented by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh to the six Science Fair student projects in spectroscopy or its components, including optics, lenses, prisms, mirrors, lasers, dispersion, interference. Three awards will be selected from Senior and three from Intermediate/Junior Divisions. Winning projects will involve topics dealing with spectroscopy and will have completed all components of the Covestro PRSEF project (lab notebook, report and poster).

Research Projects Related to Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
The Pittsburgh Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) would like to present their award to a project related to the application of mining and mining engineering or the fields of geology or mineralogy. Creative or innovative uses of modern technology, such as electronics, computerization, and/or robotics, in mining, mineral exploration, geology, mining equipment, miner safety, or mine rescue would merit strong consideration for a prize award.

Research Projects Related to Society of Military Engineers
  • Given that as of June 2, 2014, the EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan which is purported to maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment that basically mandates a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2024 ...what could be the economic impact to the Port of Pittsburgh and the region, given that 70% of navigation traffic is coal? Further, what technological considerations and investment are needed to sustain coal as an energy source in the future with a 30% carbon reduction mandate?
  • What is the current condition of the nation's electrical generation and transmission grid and how will carbon reduction mandates, decreased electrical generation by coal, aging infrastructure, and alternative energy sources such as solar and wind affect the reliability of the power grid and the cost of electricity?
  • Given the impact of aging infrastructure nationwide, and the importance of maintenance to extend the service life, students could evaluate the infrastructure condition in their municipality, the budgets in place to maintain or replace infrastructure, and explore what planning options should be considered for maintenance and replacement of the municipality's infrastructure.

  • Research Projects Related to Society of Women Engineers
    An award will be presented to one middle school female student and one high school female student for research projects showing practical applications of engineering principles (civil, chemical, industrial, mechanical, electrical, environmental, biomedical, software, etc.). Winning projects will demonstrate a creative, yet practical, application of the selected engineering discipline.

    Research Projects Related to Engineering with applications to the Steel Industry
    United States Steel Corporation will present six Science Fair awards in the field of engineering with applications to the steel industry. Winning projects will demonstrate significant knowledge of one or more aspects of the steelmaking process, the properties of steel or an application of steel.

    Research Projects Related to Sustainable Materials
    Covestro will present two awards in each division for projects focused on polymer materials and the Circular Economy system. The winning project will take a future-facing look at expanding the long-term benefits of polymer technologies in areas such as recycling/reuse, energy recovery and outreach. Solutions based on chemistry, environmental science and engineering will be considered.

    Research Projects Related to The Webb Law Firm
    The Webb Law Firm
    will award two students for projects that demonstrate creative ideas resulting in new and functional processes or devices. Projects in Engineering/Robotics, among others, will be considered.

    Research Projects Related to the Impacts of Thermo Fisher Scientific
    Thermo Fisher Scientific will present awards to projects whose finding and knowledge thereof could have impact in making the world healthier, cleaner, or safer. Subject matters may be related (but are not limited) to laboratory work in the fields of biology, chemistry, water quality, or safety for consumer or industrial markets.




















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