Contest Winners 2014

Cupertino Library Foundation S^4 Super Summer Science Search

Cupertino Library Foundation S^4 Super Summer Science Search

Congratulations Winners

of the 2014 S^4 Super Summer Science Search Contest!

Sponsored by the Cupertino Library Foundation

Middle school students display critical thinking skills and creativity for summer project

The Cupertino Library Foundation (CLF) announces its winners to the third annual S^4-Super Summer Science Search Contest for Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) middle school students. Students from any of the five Cupertino middle schools and other Cupertino out-going 6th-8th graders were eligible. This year there were 165 registrants; 118 entrants; and 47 teams represented.

2014 S^4 Super Summer Science Search Contest Winners!


Ashvin Irrinki

Medicine – The VP Shunt

Grand Prize: iPad Mini

The VP Shunt Report
The VP Shunt Journal
The VP Shunt Citations
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Gautham Gujjula & Rithin Venkatesh

CyberKinetix Asimo to Humanoid Robot

Second Place Prize: $100 Cash Each

Asimo Report
Asimo Journal
Asimo Citations
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Mythili Bhethanabotla & Susan Zhou

The Spectacular Monkeys-Monet Not Money-Art Forgery

Third Place Prize: $50 Cash Each

Monet Not Money Report
Monet Not Money Journal
Monet Not Money Citations
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Award Celebration August 16th

This year, the winning teams will do a short presentation at the celebration event August 16th where the final 18 teams will be recognized with certificates.

Multimedia Entries Wowed the Judges

“The teen and adult judges were amazed by the quality and depth of the entries,” said Bev Lenihan, Cupertino Library Foundation board member, and project director. The videos were exceptional, and the journals gave insight to their fascinating lives and personalities.”

Study Session 6 Cupertino Middle School Students Enter the S^4 Super Summer Science Search Contest
More than 100 middle school students took part in the six free study sessions offered May through July, like these students shown here at Session #6 on July 25. The sessions were led by high school students from the S^4 Task Force.

Study Sessions Enouraged Students to Use Library Online Databases

This year, high-schoolers were included on the project task force. They did much of the organizing of the six study sessions, and served as Level One judges. Community leader, Pam Marino, served as S^4™ project coordinator. The teens bring a vantage point that helped create the problem statement and the marketing that is relevant to the middle schoolers—and they are fun to be around. They are also adept at using the online databases at the Cupertino Library. The reference librarians were supportive as well.

CUSD Middle School Students Learn Music, Arts, Medicine & Technology

The primary objective of the S^4 program is to have middle school students be more comfortable researching primary sources of science from the Santa Clara County Library District database ( The problem statement incorporated opportunities for those interested in music, the arts, and medicine along with technology. Each of the six free study sessions from May through July addressed different aspects toward the completion of a successful entry. Each entry by either an individual, or a team of up to three, had to submit a report (up to five pages); a journal; their research citings; and a presentation (a video, or other presentation format).

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Student’s Love S^4 Super Summer Science Search!


“The study sessions were very informational and cleared up a lot of our questions! :)”

“Thank you for setting up this project. I really enjoyed working on it.”

“I think that this contest was amazing! I really enjoyed it!”

“Great job! See you next year!”

“It was a real exciting experience and love to do it next year.”

“I really enjoyed working on this project!! YAY!!!!!! :)”

“I love this!!!!!!! “


Thank You to the Peter Likhachev Foundation

There was no cost to enter the contest. The prizes are consistent with last year’s: The first place winner receives an iPad mini. Each member of the second place team receives $100 each, and each member of the third place team receives $50 each. A generous grant from the Peter Likhachev Foundation enriched the 2014 S^4 program.

Parents Appreciate S^4 Super Summer Science Search Program

A parent commented on his daughter’s participation: “I wanted to take this opportunity to share that [my daughter] has enjoyed the experience very much. Credit for this goes to the careful planning, teen involvement, guiding participants through this journey by scheduling information sessions and keeping it fun. All in all, a well planned and executed project. Thank you to all who made this happen.”

Teen Advisory Panel S^4 Super Summer Science Search Contest
S^4 Team (left to right): Angela Wang, Elizabeth Wang (no relation), Ardak Askhatova, Shail Trivedi, Keerthi Krishnan. Seated: Bev Lenihan (left), S^4 Project Manager and Cupertino Library Foundation Board Member, and Pam Marino, S^4 Project Coordinator.

Teen Advisory Board Assists in Judging

The judging took place in three flights. The first flight was done by the S^4 Task Force, to assess the meeting of all the requirements. The second flight of judging was done by a teen group, including members of the Cupertino Library Teen Advisory Board, and past winners. The third flight of judging was done by professionals in the community who represent technology and other relevant fields. Members of Apple, HP, Google, the Library staff and others participated.

Encouraging Future Opportunities for Cupertino Students

“Our S^4 team is working on a playbook so that the contest can be replicated under the S^4 banner throughout the other libraries in the district,” said Eno Schmidt, president of the Cupertino Library Foundation. “One of our newer Library Foundation Board members, Pallavi Shah, a former math teacher, has prepared a reference list of science competitions for the participants. We want our preparation for these students to encourage them for future science opportunities.”

Cupertino Library Foundation is a Proud Sponsor

The Cupertino Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation with the purpose to raise money to continue programs encouraging life-long learning and self-improvement through the Cupertino Library. The Foundation has the Non-Profit Seal of Approval by Guidestar demonstrating satisfaction of transparency requirements and is a member of the Google for Nonprofits program receiving tools to work efficiently. It seeks major donations from corporations and the business community and from other foundations as well as individual donations and planned gifts and bequests. For further information visit: