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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 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 American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE, Pittsburgh Section will present two Science Fair student awards in civil engineering. Projects involving dams and waterways will be considered since they are an integral part of our region.  An award in the Junior Division and Senior Division will be presented.


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 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 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 National Association of Corrosion Engineers, Pittsburgh Section
NACE International’s Pittsburgh Section will present awards for the studies of corrosion mitigation that help protect people, assets, and the environment from the adverse effects of corrosion. Select an industry (Pipelines; Bridges; Drinking and Waste Water; Department of Defense; etc) and identify the threats of corrosion, the consequences of a corrosion event, and provide recommendations of mitigation measures for improvement. Creativity, ingenuity and a strong understanding of corrosion should be demonstrated.


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 Centerwill 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 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

  • 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 Sustainable Materials
Covestro will present two awards in each division for projects focused on polymer materials and Circular Economy design principles. 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 efficiency 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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