Highlights from the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search | Science News for Students

Highlights from the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search

This year’s high school finalists were honored at a formal gala
Mar 16, 2017 — 6:50 am EST
Regeneron STS 2017

The finalists of the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search celebrate on stage at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

C. Ayers/SSP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Being too young to vote didn't keep these teens from doing some serious science. Finalists in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search tackled some of the world’s biggest problems. They ranged from probing how to treat brain injury to measuring the temperature of the ocean.

Run by Society for Science & the Public and sponsored by Regeneron (a company that develops new medications), the Science Talent Search was established in 1942. Every year, it brings together 40 U.S. high school seniors to share their science projects with the public and to compete for monetary prizes. This year's finalists were honored at a gala at the National Building Museum on Tuesday, March 14. The top winner, Indrani Das, 18, is a senior at the Academy for Medical Science Technology in Hackensack, N.J. She took home a prize of $250,000.

Eureka! Lab live-tweeted from the gala (follow @eureka_labs), and we have collected below the tweets, photos and Facebook Live video that ran during the event. Congratulations to the 40 amazing finalists!

The 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search Gala

The 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search Gala

Celebrating the top 40 young scientists in the nation

  1. Miss the gala? Here are all the tweets from the event!
  2. Get excited! We’re here at the #RegeneronSTS gala to livetweet! Check out our swank digs! https://t.co/Xi4Xn80WcH
    Get excited! We’re here at the #RegeneronSTS gala to livetweet! Check out our swank digs! pic.twitter.com/Xi4Xn80WcH
  3. Society for Science & the Public, which runs the Regeneron Science Talent Search (and which publishes Science News for Students), was also on Facebook Live for the event. Check out their Facebook page for the video.
  4. Watch the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search LIVE from Washington D.C.
  5. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Suzanne Malveaux, award-winning journalist and @CNN National Correspondent. #RegeneronSTS https://t.co/19phNyXQdO
    This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Suzanne Malveaux, award-winning journalist and @CNN National Correspondent. #RegeneronSTS pic.twitter.com/19phNyXQdO
  6. Malveaux says she’s interviewed 6 presidents, but they’ve got nothing on these fabulous #regeneronSTS finalists!
  7. @MayaAjmera says the #regeneronSTS finalists are “tomorrow’s scientists mathematicians engineers entrepreneurs...”
  8. Next, Leonard Schleifer, one of the founders of Regeneron, the sponsor of #RegeneronSTS
  9. And George Yancopoulos, the founding scientist of Regeneron #RegeneronSTS (they do everything together)
  10. Regeneron's George Yancopoulos Becomes Pharma's First Billionaire ...
    Regeneron's George Yancopoulos Becomes Pharma's First Billionaire ...
  11. “You’re all winners, you’re all our heroes, we are counting on you” - Yancopoulus to the #regeneronSTS finalists.
  12. Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance ...
    Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance ...
  13. .@angeladuckw says “You had talent to get here, but you are also emerging as individuals who are passionate and persevering.” #regeneronSTS
  14. All the finalists got a copy of Duckworth's book, Grit: The power of passion and perseverance.
  15. .@angeladuckw says “Go out into the world and write your own book...and don’t lose hope.” #regeneronSTS
  16. A few fun facts about this year's finalists...
  17. 18 of this years #RegeneronSTS finalists are varsity athletes! Tennis, track and more!
  18. Science and music go together! 19 of the #RegeneronSTS finalists are also musicians.
  19. Five of the finalists this year serve on school newpapers or other publications as well!
  20. Jessika Baral, from Fremont Calif. She wrote an app that can analyze images of lung biopsies for cancer. #RegeneronSTS
  21. Sambuddha Chattopadhyay, from Olney, Md. He studied vacuum energy, to help our understand of dark energy. #RegeneronSTS
  22. Beau Bingham, from Tulsa, Ok. He studied extract from algae to see if they could produce antibiotics to fight MRSA #RegeneronSTS
  23. Jonathan Chung, from Cortland Manor, N.Y., studied how the waste from gut germs affects chemicals in the brain. #RegeneronSTS
  24. Rohan Dalvi, from North Potomac, Md., worked on a cheaper, faster way to find out the structure of proteins. #RegeneronSTS
  25. Steven Elliott from Parker, Tx., designed a set of circuits to stabilize a drone as it flies. #RegeneronSTS
  26. Indrani Das, from Oradell, N.J., studied how to protect brain cells from dying after injury. #RegeneronSTS
  27. Vineet Edupuganti from Portland, Ore., designed a battery that would dissolve harmlessly for use in our bodies. #RegeneronSTS
  28. Jacy Fang from Ridgewood, N.J., worked to make immune cells young again, to help them fight off relapse in leukemia. #RegeneronSTS
  29. Isabella Greco from New York City studied how gender stereotypes affect people’s memories. #RegeneronSTS
  30. Natalia Hajlasz from Pittsburgh, Pa., modeled how magnesium breaks away from water. #RegeneronSTS
  31. Blake Hord from Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. came up with a model to predict how gas and dust swirl around stars where planets form #RegeneronSTS
  32. Natalia Hajlasz also started a STEMinism club at her high school to get girls into science! #RegeneronSTS
  33. Krithika Iyer from Plano, Tx., designed an educational app that provides teacher feedback based on a kid’s mood. #RegeneronSTS
  34. Apoorv Khandelwal of Sammamish, Wash., designed a better membrane to take the salt out of drinking water. #RegeneronSTS
  35. Nathaniel Lee of Jericho, N.Y., came up with a way to modify a laser using ceramics. He wants to use it to detect disease. #RegeneronSTS
  36. Dylan Li of New York City developed a new drug to help treat diabetes and obesity. #RegeneronSTS
  37. Vrinda Madan of Orlando, Fla., conducted a screen and found two new chemicals that could treat malaria. #RegeneronSTS
  38. Prathik Naidu of Potomac Falls, Va., designed a program to look for changes in genes that lead to cancer. #RegeneronSTS
  39. Ethan Novek of Greenwich, Conn., designed a system to capture carbon dioxide. He’s already got a patent on it! #RegeneronSTS
  40. Emily Peterson of St. James, N.Y., studied how squamous cell carcinoma might spread. #RegeneronSTS
  41. Laura Pierson of Oakland, Calif., developed new ways to study groups of numbers or objects. #RegeneronSTS
  42. Evani Radiya-Dixit of San Jose, Calif., looked at differences in how genes are controlled in cancer. #RegeneronSTS
  43. Arjun Ramani of Wast Lafayette, Ind., developed an algorithm to find connections in large networks…like your Facebook! #RegeneronSTS
  44. David Rekhtman of Bethesda, Md., studied how light and heat can make cancer cells kill themselves. #RegeneronSTS
  45. Audrey Saltzman of Pleasantville, N.Y., measured how a neutron star yanks matter away from its partner. #RegeneronSTS
  46. Manan Shah of Los Altos, Calif., created a computer model to identify breast cancers. #RegeneronSTS
  47. Arjun Subramaniam of Cupertino, Calif., designed a program to analyze antibodies and predict which best fight disease. #RegeneronSTS
  48. Alec Sun of Lexington, Mass., proved that a family of rational Cherednik algebras can be analyzed the same way. #RegeneronSTS
  49. Jessica Tian of San Diego, Calif., designed a dip to keep cellulose fibers bacteria-free. #RegeneronSTS  https://tinyurl.com/gwrmbcn 
  50. Archana Verma of Jericho, N.Y., studied how dyes absorb energy to make better solar panels. #RegeneronSTS
  51. Stefan Wan of Wellington, Fla., designed a method to slurp fertilizer, and spit it out to use again  https://tinyurl.com/h546cpa  #RegeneronSTS
  52. Felix Wang of Newton, Mass., solved a math question that had remained unsolved since it was posed in 1973. #RegeneronSTS
  53. Jackson Weaver of Jersey City, N.J., studied whether electricity could drive an enzyme reaction…using turnips! #RegeneronSTS
  54. Julian Wellman of Ann Arbor, Mi., worked on a mathematical sequence problem…that is best explained while he juggles. #RegeneronSTS https://t.co/VAIRd5rFMm
    Julian Wellman of Ann Arbor, Mi., worked on a mathematical sequence problem…that is best explained while he juggles. #RegeneronSTS pic.twitter.com/VAIRd5rFMm
  55. Derek Woo of Greenwich, Conn., designed a method to get pesticide out of plants, and away from bees. #RegeneronSTS
  56. Byron Xu of Sugar Land, Tx., used sound waves to measure ocean water temperatures. #RegeneronSTS
  57. Amber Yang of Windermere, Fla., made a computer program to track space junk.  https://tinyurl.com/hjcqfg6  #RegeneronSTS
  58. Michael Yang of Matthews, N.C., made a model to predict how animals like ants behave collectively #RegeneronSTS
  59. Aaron Yeiser of Schwenksville, Penn., developed new math to eventually make better airplane wings. #RegeneronSTS
  60. Mary Zhu of Nashua, N.H., made a model that predicts the economic and environmental impact of a carbon tax. #RegeneronSTS
  61. Now the Seaborg Award Winner, named for Glenn Seaborg, the #Nobel winning chemist (seaborgium!) who loved community #RegeneronSTS
  62. The Seaborg Award Winner this year is Jackson Weaver! Go Jackson! #RegeneronSTS
  63. The #regeneronSTS finalists had to design a dragon in judging! Jackson’s had a tail with lots of torque.
  64. And now the top 10! Presented by judge (and computer scientist) Sudarshan Chawathe. #RegeneronSTS
  65. 10! Stefan Wan! For his design to suck up fertilizer, and recycle it.  https://tinyurl.com/h546cpa  #RegeneronSTS Wins $40K!
  66. 9! Vrinda Madan, who found two new chemicals that could treat malaria. #RegeneronSTS Wins $50K!
  67. 8! Ethan Novek for his patented design to capture carbon! #RegeneronSTS Taking home $60k!
  68. 7! Prathik Naidu who designed a program to scan genomes for cancer! #RegeneronSTS Wins $70K!
  69. 6! Laura Pierson for her math project on mathematically symmetric groups! #RegeneronSTS Wins $80k!
  70. 5! Archana Verma who studied how dyes can produce electricity to make better solar panels! #RegeneronSTS Wins $90k!
  71. 4! Byron Xu who used sound data to study ocean temperatures over time! #RegeneronSTS Wins $100k!
  72. Third place, Arjun Ramani, who’s algorithm helps find connections like the ones in your Facebook! #RegeneronSTS $150K win!
  73. 2nd place, Aaron Yeiser, who’s work on differential equations might one day design a better airplane wing! #RegeneronSTS $175k win!
  74. And FIRST PLACE: Indrani Das for her work on traumatic brain injury! #RegeneronSTS Wins $250K!
  75. Congratulations to all the finalists! What wonderful projects and people! #RegeneronSTS https://t.co/6JBdulO6Bw
    Congratulations to all the finalists! What wonderful projects and people! #RegeneronSTS pic.twitter.com/6JBdulO6Bw
  76. "Why are these students, and their research, so important to us? The answer is simple: because beyond their scientific brilliance, passion and endless curiosity, the Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are part of something much bigger."

Power Words

(for more about Power Words, click here)

high school     A designation for grades nine through 12 in the U.S. system of compulsory public education. High-school graduates may apply to colleges for further, advanced education.

Science Talent Search     An annual competition created and run by Society for Science & the Public. Begun in 1942, this event brings 40 research-oriented high school seniors to Washington, D.C. each year to showcase their research to the public and to compete for awards. Since spring 2016, this competition has been sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Society for Science and the Public    A nonprofit organization created in 1921 and based in Washington, D.C. Since its founding, SSP has been not only promoting public engagement in scientific research but also the public understanding of science. It created and continues to run three renowned science competitions: the Regeneron Science Talent Search (begun in 1942), the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (initially launched in 1950) and Broadcom MASTERS (created in 2010). SSP also publishes award-winning journalism: in Science News (launched in 1922) and Science News for Students (created in 2003). Those magazines also host a series of blogs (including Eureka! Lab).

technology     The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry — or the devices, processes and systems that result from those efforts.

tweet     Message consisting of 140 or fewer characters that is available to people with an online Twitter account.