High School student from Hidden Valley awarded for outstanding achievements in computer science research

Franziska Borneff, a Hidden Valley High School Senior from Roanoke, Virginia, has been awarded the prestigious 2023-2024 ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize for High School Computing. This award recognizes students who excel in computer science and take on challenges beyond the classroom.

Motivated by news articles on climate change, Borneff delved into researching Arctic rivers and their critical role in detecting climate change and impacting ecosystems and livelihoods. She identified significant data points and trends related to air temperature, river discharge, and sea ice concentration through her research. The thaw dates of the Arctic rivers were earlier than ever before, leading her to connect with students from the Yupik Eskimo Village in Alaska to understand the local community’s challenges due to the changing climate.

As part of her award, Borneff received $10,000 in financial aid to support her university education in the fall. Her winning project focused on monitoring the flow rates of Arctic rivers and raising awareness about the pressing issue of climate change. Borneff hopes that her project will draw attention to this critical issue and stimulate further research on Arctic regions.

This achievement highlights Borneff’s dedication to using computer science to address real-world challenges and contribute positively to the field. She will be formally recognized at the Computer Science Teachers Association’s 2024 Annual Conference in Las Vegas in July.

By Samantha Johnson

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