Seniors named semifinalists in Intel Science Talent search

Zoe Dutton

The Society for Science and the Public named Megha Srivastava ’14 and Divya Siddarth ’14 as semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent search, one of the most prestigious pre-college science competitions.

Siddarth and Srivastava both submitted papers on original research that they had conducted over the summer and will each win a $1,000 scholarship.

“I entered the competition just so I could have an excuse to write the paper,” Srivastava said. “Winning is just a cool bonus.”

Srivastava interned at the UCLA California Nano Systems Institute and developed a new pH sensor for doctors to check the safety of their medications, so that hospitals located in rural areas would be able to use the same medication as those in urban centers without having to transport chemicals to a laboratory for testing.

Siddarth studied how to stop tumor growth through protein interactions at the City of Hope hospital and agreed that her research was the best part of the experience.

“I’m really thrilled at the award, but more exciting is the opportunity I had to do this incredible research,” Siddarth said. “I learned so much this summer and it gave me direction with what I want to do with my life.”

Siddarth and Srivastava both said they hoped to complete more research in the future.

“I might work in the same lab, but I’m interested in computer science and chemistry so I might just do something different next year,” Srivastava said. “But I’m definitely going to continue with some sort of research.”

From the 300 semifinalists that were recognized nationally in the talent search, 40 will be invited in March to Washington, DC to display their work, meet with scientists, and vie for the first place prize of $100,000. Students were selected from 1,794 entrants from 489 high schools.