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Local Students Named Finalists in Major Science Competition

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By Robert Kimmel
 Three local students were among 300 students named as semifinalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020, described as “ the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.” Tess Kaplan and Samantha Livingston, both Sleepy Hollow High School students, and Rishit Gupta, from Irvington High School, were among 33 Westchester students to gain semifinalists status.
    The competition drew applications from 1,993 scholars from 659 high schools in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and eight countries.  Submitted entries are labeled “original research in critically important scientific fields of study.”  The entries are judged by top experts in their fields.  “Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists,” stated theannouncement naming the student semifinalists.
     Kaplan, Livingston and Gupta, each receive $2,000 as do their schools.  They will be competing with the other semifinalists to be among the 40 students named “Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalists,” January 22.  The next step has those winners vying for more than $1.8 million in awards from Regeneron during an all-expense paid trip March 5-11, to Washington, D.C.  Of that money, $25,000 minimally will go to 30 finalists, while the top ten will receive between $40,000 and $250,000.
     Tess Kaplan”s Project Title was “Increasing Emotional Intelligence in Typically Developing Students and Students with Developmental Disabilities.” Samantha Livingston’s dealt with, “Using the Identification of Diseases Caused by a Change in Phosphorylation State to Identify the Signaling pathway of BRAF V600E mutation.” Rishit Gupta’s entry was “Error Correction using a Repetition Code on the 14 qubit IBMQ Melbourne Quantum Computer.”
      The Regeneron Science Talent Search, is a program of the Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit, established in 1921, which is “dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science.” Regeneron, a leading biotechnology companyheadquartered in Tarrytown, engaged with the Society in 2017 as the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search, enabling the overall award distribution to nearly double. Prior recipients of the science project’s awards  have gone on to receive many honors. Among those were 11 National Medals of Science and 13 Nobel Prizes.
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