I'm Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Education Report.
An eighteen-year-old high school student from Utah has won the top prize in
the Intel Science Talent Search in the United States. The winners receive a
computer and money for a college education.
More than one thousand five hundred students from across the country entered
projects in the competition this year. Their research involved chemistry,
medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science - almost every
area of science.
Forty students were invited to Washington, D.C., for the final judging. A
group of scientists judged them on their research abilities, critical thinking
skills and creativity. The judges also questioned the students about scientific
problems before deciding on the winners.
The top winner receives one hundred thousand dollars for college. Shannon
Babb of American Fork High School studied the water quality of the Spanish Fork
River in Utah for six years.
She found that people have a harmful effect on the river through human
activity, including agriculture. And she suggested ways to improve the water
quality in the future. These include educating the public not to put household
chemicals down storm drains, which lead to the river.
Seventeen-year-old Yi Sun of the Harker School in San Jose, California,
earned second place. He won a seventy-five thousand dollar scholarship for new
discoveries about a mathematical theory known as random walks. His work could
help computer scientists and chemists. Yi Sun was born in China.
The third-place winner was also seventeen and born in China. Yuan "Chelsea"
Zhang of Montgomery Blair High School in Rockville, Maryland, won a fifty
thousand dollar scholarship. She researched the molecular genetics of heart
disease. Her findings could aid the development of new medicines.
The Intel Science Talent Search is the oldest science competition for high
school students in the United States. It is sixty-five years old this year. Past
winners have gone on to receive six Nobel prizes and other top honors in science
This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach.
Read and listen to our reports at voaspecialenglish.com. If you have a question
about the American education system, send it to email@example.com. We cannot
answer mail personally, but we might be able to answer your question on our
program. I'm Steve Ember.