Intel Names Winners Of Its Science Talent Search | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 15, 2007

Intel Names Winners Of Its Science Talent Search

No-frills spectrograph nabs teen first place in annual competition
Department: ACS News
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Science Talent Schikowski, one of 40 finalists, explained her work to Kenneth L. Marshall, a research engineer at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics. (left)
First Place Masterman talks about her prize-winning research project. (center)
Star Status Vaintrob, who won third place, describes his research while second-place winner Pardon looks on and a New York Times photographer snaps a photo. (right)
Credit: LINDA WANG/C&EN
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Science Talent Schikowski, one of 40 finalists, explained her work to Kenneth L. Marshall, a research engineer at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics. (left)
First Place Masterman talks about her prize-winning research project. (center)
Star Status Vaintrob, who won third place, describes his research while second-place winner Pardon looks on and a New York Times photographer snaps a photo. (right)
Credit: LINDA WANG/C&EN

Mary Masterman, 17, a senior at Westmore High School in Oklahoma City, on Tuesday won first place in the 66th annual Intel Science Talent Search for her design of an inexpensive spectrograph that identifies the spectral fingerprints of different kinds of molecules. Science Service, the Washington, D.C.-based publisher of the weekly Science News, has administered the talent search since 1942.

Masterman's spectrograph, a type known as a Littrow spectrograph, splits light and uses a digital camera to record the resulting Raman spectra. The instrument cost only $300 to build; typical commercial spectrographs can cost between $20,000 and $100,000.

Masterman received a $100,000 scholarship that she hopes to use toward an education at either MIT or Caltech.

John Pardon of Durham Academy in North Carolina, whose project entailed solving a classical open problem in differential geometry, won second place and received a $75,000 scholarship. Dmitry Vaintrob of South Eugene High School in Oregon, who investigated ways to associate algebraic structures to topological spaces, won third place and received a $50,000 scholarship.

Other chemistry-related projects on display included Erin M. Schikowski's (Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio) design of a self-assembling metallo-supramolecular complex that might be used to create polymers with useful mechanical, electronic, and luminescent properties; and Daniel S. Katz's (Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway, Cedarhurst, N.Y.) synthesis of folate-coated platinum nanoparticles for potential application in cancer treatment.

Judges selected the winners from 40 finalists, who presented their projects to the public during a poster exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., on March 11–12.

 
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