Three high school chinese girls won Intel Science Talent exploration Award


(Mimi Yen,Clara Fannjiang and Zhang Yuan, from left to right)

Intel Science Talent Search 2012 winners have been announced at the awards gala in Washington, DC on March 13, 2012. Nithin Tumma, 17 years old boy from Fort Gratiot, Michigan, won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his research.

Every year, around 1,800 American high school seniors doing their original research projects submit their work to the “the nation’s oldest and most prestigious” science competition: the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), a program of Society of Science & the Public.

Each year in the competition, many Chinese students enter the semifinals. This year, 15 Chinese students got into the finals out of 40. Among the Intel Science Talent Search top ten winners, Chinese girls accounted for three.

Mimi Yen, a senior at Stuyvesant High School was awarded third place; Davis High School senior Clara Fannjiang took eighth place; and California Saratoga girls Zhang Yuan won ninth place.

Mimi Yen was born in Honduras; she came to the United States when she was five years old and she is fluent in Cantonese. Her parents work in a restaurant and clothes factory. She likes playing the piano, and volunteering during her spare time.

As a girl, she thinks women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “In the class, most people who raise their hands are boys and not girls.” Yen said.

Last two years, Yen spent most of her time doing her project and finally, her efforts paid off. She has been admitted to Yale University and she is pursuing a career in the science. “I feel like I need to push further because of the fact that this field is still dominated by men.”

Clara Fannjiang is the daughter of Albert and Jean Fannjiang. In 2011, she won the Sacramento Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Sacramento and the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in San Diego, according to the Davis Enterprise.  Her project is about physics and space science which focused on radio interferometry.

“Science is a very broad term, there are biology, chemical, computer science, psychics and so on. All these different field have different natures. It is really important to find out what you love and try to explore everything. Because it might be something interesting out there.” Fannjiang said.

Zhang Yuan’s parents are from China, and worked in high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. She explored molecule-specific glucose detection for diabetes monitoring in her project. If her project can be applied to the clinical, it may benefits diabetic patients. She is look forward to do more research on this project.

Times are changing, in 2012, 16 of 40 The Intel Science Talent Search finalists are female. Watch the video below:

The Intel Science Talent SearchThe Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, it began the competition in 1942 with Westinghouse Electric Corporation.In order to help and improve STEM education, Intel Corporation became the sponsor in 1998.  Over the years, the competition has given scholarships to the finalists and semifinalists.There are eleven former Science Talent Search finalists who won the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grants; six have won the National Medal of Science or the National Medal of Technology, and seven have won the Nobel Prize. They have achieved huge academic success in STEM.

For interested applicants to the Intel STS 2013, visit the Intel STS Compete page.

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