The first ever Aspen Aerogels Technology Award was presented at East Providence High School’s Awards Night ceremony on June 9. Daniela Costa, a graduating senior with an early acceptance from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was presented with the $2,000 award by Gerry Simpson, Director of Manufacturing at Aspen.
The scholarship was created for an East Providence High School senior who showed an advanced aptitude in a science-based class. “We asked applicants to write a 500-word essay about science and technology’s ability to make the world a better place,” said Dan O’Hara, Manufacturing Manager who initiated the scholarship at Aspen. “We also asked them to submit two letters of recommendation.”
Costa, Vice President of East Providence High School’s student council, a member of the Rhode Island National Honor Society and this year’s recipient of the DECA emerging leadership award, was the clear winner, O’Hara said.
The award’s selection committee, made up of a broad cross-section of Aspen Aerogels employees, included: Jeffrey Ball, Joseph Fraser, Dr. George Gould, Melissa Zerek and Joseph Perron.
“We wanted to be hands on and find a promising future leader in our community,” Simpson said. “We’re hoping that this award will encourage more students from our community to pursue careers in science, similar to those here at Aspen.”
Looking to the future, Costa hopes to pursue a career in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
About Aspen Aerogels: Aspen Aerogels is a leading energy technology company providing innovative thermal management solutions to the $2.8 billion energy insulation market with locations in East Providence, RI and Northborough, MA.