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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14, 2006 - Intel Corporation today awarded Shannon Babb of Highland, Utah top honors and a $100,000 scholarship in the Intel Science Talent Search. Babb, the competition's first Utah winner, will take her place among esteemed alumni that include six Nobel Laureates, three National Medal of Science winners, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellows and two Fields Medalists.
With a rare ability to combine research and remediation in environmental science, Babb, 18, of American Fork High School, conducted a six-month study to identify water quality problems in the Spanish Fork River. Babb, who started researching water quality at age 13, analyzed the chemical and physical properties along the river drainage system. She concluded that humans, through urban and agricultural factors, have a negative effect on the water quality of the river. She contends that the water quality problem can be resolved with a combination of restructuring and educating the public that household chemicals should not be poured down storm drains.
Yi Sun, 17, of The Harker School in San Jose, Calif., received second-place honors and a $75,000 scholarship. Sun discovered new geometric properties of random walks, a mathematical theory with applications to computer algorithms and polymers.
Yuan "Chelsea" Zhang, 17, of Montgomery Blair High School in Rockville, Md., received third-place honors and a $50,000 scholarship. Zhang researched the molecular genetic mechanisms behind heart disease. Specifically, Zhang implicated CX3CL1 molecules as contributing to plaque build-up in the arteries. This knowledge can lead to the development of new medicines for atherosclerosis.
Sponsored by Intel since 1998, the STS is America's oldest and most prestigious high school science competition and is part of the company's $100 million annual commitment to improving education around the world.
Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, a long-time advocate for improving science and math education, praised the contributions these young scientists are poised to make.
"The talent represented at Intel STS is a dramatic illustration that investing in science and math education will pay great dividends for the future of American innovation," Barrett said. "The seed of the next big scientific discovery could very well be planted in this room tonight."
Rounding Out the Top 10
Fourth- through sixth-place winners each receive a $25,000 scholarship:
In all, 1,558 students entered the competition this year, representing 486 high schools in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and an overseas school. Students ranged in age from 15 to 18 with females representing 53 percent of the total entrants. From these entries 300 semifinalists were chosen. More than 100 top scientists from a variety of disciplines reviewed all the Intel STS entries to narrow the field to 40 finalists. They examined each individual's research ability, scientific originality and creative thinking.
The 40 finalists completed the final phase of the competition, including extensive interviews by the judging panel over the past week. The judging panel is chaired by Dr. Andrew Yeager, director of blood and marrow transplant programs at the Arizona Cancer Center and professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Arizona.
Society for Science & the Public is the nonprofit organization which has administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942. The mission of Society for Science & the Public is to advance the understanding and appreciation of science. In addition to its education programs, Society for Science & the Public publishes the weekly magazine Science News. For more information on Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org.
Through education programs such as the Intel STS, Intel works to inspire and educate children in communities around the world in the areas of science, mathematics and engineering. For more information, visit www.intel.com/education.
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.
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Intel, the Intel logo, and Intel Centrino are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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