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Regeneron and Society for Science announced the 300 students named as scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The 300 scholars will be awarded $2,000 each and their schools will be awarded $2,000 for each enrolled scholar.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,949 applications from 627 high schools across 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and four other countries. Scholars were chosen based on their outstanding research, leadership skills, community involvement, commitment to academics, creativity in asking scientific questions and exceptional promise as STEM leaders demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendations. The 300 scholars hail from 194 American and international high schools in 35 states and China.  

This year, there are five students from Georgia, including:

Aadhav working on his project

Aadhav Sundar, McIntosh High School
Project Title: A Feasibility Study of Lightweight Polylactic Acid Fused Deposition Modeled Propeller Prototyping
My project was a study on the feasibility of making 3D printed propellers from a newly engineered material called lightweight polylactic acid, or LW-PLA that can expand to over-twice its volume. This expansive property could be harnessed to 3D print lightweight models. A notable portion of my study was my self-engineered low-cost method of measuring propeller thrust using a lever made from 2x4s and a weighing scale. This study is one of the first to be published on LW-PLA, and it may be pioneering research in a new field of materials science.

Catherine Jiao

Jean Yu, Gwinnett School of Mathematics
Project Title: The Role of Ribosomal rRNA Modifications in Ribosome Biogenesis
My project, conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Homa Ghalei and Dr. Liz Dreggors-Walker at the Emory University School of Medicine, investigated the role of ribosomal RNA modifications in ribosome assembly, a process crucial for cell survival. Existing data was used to generate maps of the yeast ribosome and computationally calculate the proximities between ribosomal RNA modification sites and ribosomal protein binding sites. It was found that approximately 40 percent of rRNA modifications directly overlap with nearby protein binding site(s), which is significant because it suggests that ribosomal RNA modifications may have a more direct impact on RNA-protein interactions than currently assumed. This knowledge may aid RNA scientists in advancing research on treatments for ribosomopathies and cancers, which can result from dysregulations in ribosome assembly. 


Amy Pham, Elite Scholars Academy
Project Title: An Eco-Friendly Method of Removing Immiscible Pollutants From Waterways Using Vitamin E and a Magnetic Suspension
This project offers a solution to removing immiscible contaminants like dyes and microplastics that cannot dissolve in water, which harm aquatic life and occasionally act as carriers of other toxic pollutants. By coating magnetic particles with environmentally-friendly products similar to the contaminants, they attract each other. Therefore, using a strong magnet able to remove both, an eco-friendly method was developed to quickly decontaminate waterways from these pollutants efficiently.

Catherine Jiao, George Walton Comprehensive High School
Project Title: The Implications of Smart Tip Nudging: A Data-Driven Behavioral Economic Study
With the increase in technological advancements, the use of electronic payment systems displaying default tip options have increased drastically. I studied how default tip options affect tipping and how the options can "nudge" a customer to tip more or less.

michelle li

Michelle Li, North Oconee High School
Project Title: Exploration of Novel Capsule Depolymerases From Bacteriophage To Combat Antibiotic Resistance in Klebsiella Pneumoniae
My project is utilizing novel depolymerases from bacteriophages to target antibiotic resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. With a new era of antibiotic resistance rapidly approaching, this sort of emerging treatment holds great potential as an alternative antimicrobial therapy.

On January 24, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. The finalists will then compete for more than $1.8 million in awards during a week-long competition in Washington, D.C., taking place March 9-15.