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High School Students Take Top Prize in Science Competition

Four high school students have taken the top prize in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. Twenty students, including six individuals and six teams, competed in the National Finals held this past weekend at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington D.C.

Eric Chen, of San Diego, CA, won a $100,000 scholarship after placing first in the Individual category for his research, Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Fight Flu Pandemic. The Canyon Crest Academy senior used computer modeling with experimental research to find influenza virus inhibitors. Chen's work could be used to develop new anti-flu medicine.

New York students Priyanka Wadgaonkar, Zainab Mahmood and JiaWen Pei, of George W. Hewlett High School, took the top spot in the Team category for their research, The Isolation and Characterization of an Ozone Responsive Stress Related Protein (OZS) in Ceratopteris richardii. The group's research could be instrumental in making crops more resistant to ozone. The three high school seniors will share the $100,000 grand prize scholarship.

The remaining winners for the Individual competition include:

  • $50,000 scholarship – Arman Bilge, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA (Computer Science)

  • $40,000 scholarship – Joshua Meier, Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, N.J. (Genetics)

  • $30,000 scholarship – Gerald Meixiong, Lakeside High School, Evans, Ga. (Biochemistry)

  • $20,000 scholarship – Ivan Paskov, Edgemont Junior/Senior High School, Scarsdale, N.Y. (Computer Science)

  • $10,000 scholarship – Frederick Lang, St. John's School, Houston, Texas (Biology)

In the Team category, the remaining winners include:

  • $50,000 scholarship – Noah Golowich, Lexington High School, Lexington, Mass.; and Kavish Gandhi, Newton North High School, Newton, Mass. (Mathematics)

  • $40,000 scholarship – Andrew Jin and Steven Wang, The Harker School, San Jose, Calif. (Biochemistry)

  • $30,000 scholarship – Aaron Argyres, Clayton High School, Clayton, Mo.; and Mingu Kim, David H. Hickman High School, Columbia, Mo. (Bioengineering)

  • $20,000 scholarship – David Lu, Mills E. Godwin High School, Henrico, Va.; and Allen and Jason Lee, Millburn High School, Millburn, N.J. (Biochemistry)

  • $10,000 scholarship – Alyssa Chen, Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas; and Shriya Das, The Hockaday School, Dallas, Texas (Materials Science/Nanoscience)

Siemens annual competition, funded by The Siemens Foundation and administered by The College Board, is designed to give students an opportunity to present research that they've completed in high school to a panel of leading scientists and mathematicians. Rachelle Heller, associate provost for academic affairs of the Mount Vernon Campus and professor of computer science at GWU, was the lead judge for this year's competition. The grand prize winners will ring The Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange in February.

Additional information about the yearly science, math and technology competition can be found online at Siemens site.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at

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