While some of us relax by the beach and sip lemonade over the summer, four talented Georgia students will conduct cancer research with distinguished mentors through the inaugural Emperor Science Award Program. The four Georgia winners represent Apalachee High School, Clarkston High School, and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

Brought to you by PBS LearningMedia and Stand Up to Cancer, this prestigious program provides eight-to-twelve-week summer mentoring opportunities to high school students that are interested in a career in science, with emphasis on the study of oncology. Between the months of September and November, approximately 1,200 juniors and seniors from across the United States applied and submitted 750 word essays with a response to the following question:

“Cancer has been referred to as the Emperor of all maladies and millions of people around the world are looking for a cure. In America, over 1600 people die each day. Tell us why scientific research is so important in helping to find a cure for cancer. And if you could be a scientific researcher, what would you study and why?”

“It is so exciting to see in these applications the breadth and depth of student interest in pursuing cancer research,” says Sherry Lansing, chairperson of the committee of documentary production supporters and of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which conceived of the Emperor Science Award Program. “These students, quite possibly future researchers who will help more cancer patients become long-term survivors, demonstrated an amazing level of understanding of cancer already — one that extended beyond scientific topics like genetics and immunology, to questions like how we can improve patients’ quality of life and palliative care. Too many of these students had already experienced cancer in their families and communities and several were cancer survivors themselves.”

Despite the vast amount of interest and dynamic quality of entries, the judges could only select 100 winners. Winners will also receive a $1,500 stipend to help with expenditures and a Google Chromebook.

Congratulations to all of the Emperor Science Award winners! Click here for the complete list of 2016 winners. We look forward to hearing about the advancements made in the area of cancer due to your hard work and passion for scientific exploration.