17-year old wins $100,000 scholarship in Science Talent Competition


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17-year old Shivani Sud, a high school senior from North Carolina will receive a $100,000 U.S. Dollar scholarship from the Intel Foundation for winning the annual Intel Science Talent Search Contest, held in Washington D.C. last week. Shivani beat 1,600 other student nationwide with her research on how to improve colon cancer treatment.

She has developed a model, which allows doctors to assess what treatment will work best for individual patients suffering from early stages of colon cancer.

Her research into the subject proved that traditional treatments of removing the organ or chemotherapy, does not work for everybody. In some patients the cancer just keeps coming back. They therefore need alternative treatments, which she also researched and identified.

Shivani's interest in cancer began when a close family member was diagnosed with brain tumor. The then six-year old girl would lug heavy science books to her mother and ask her to explain what happened. As she grew older, her interest in the subject continued, and as a middle-schooler, she was often seen working at laboratories through programs organized by Duke University and the National Institute of Health. Shivani wants to pursue a career in research and hopes to attend either Harvard or Princeton University.

The second prizewinner was Graham Van Schaik of Columbia (on the right), who won a $75,000 U.S. Dollar scholarship for his research on a harmful chemical found in pesticides. Third prizewinner Brian McCarthy (on the left) won a $50,000 scholarship for creating thin polymer films that respond to light, and could become a cheaper alternative to silicon-based solar cells. Forty other finalists also received a $5,000 scholarship as well as a laptop.

Below are three videos, where the two top winners talks about their projects and what inspired them. What a bright and inspiring young group of people! - What do you think? Don't forget to write your comments below.

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