Parkland High School student Joy Wang has been selected as one of 40 high school seniors across the country to be an Intel Science Talent Search Finalist for 2013, according to information provided by the Parkland School District.
The event, sponsored by Intel Corp., encourages students to pursue ambitious scientific questions and develop skills to solve tomorrow's problems.
Participants are judged on:
- Their original scientific research
- Their achievement and leadership, inside and outside the classroom.
Wang, 17, of Upper Macungie, said she was surprised to learn she was a national finalist. "I never expected to advance this far – and felt honored to be chosen," she said. "I am very excited to meet the other finalists and go to Washington, D.C."
Wang and the other national finalists will compete in Washington from March 7-13 for $630,000 in awards. The top winner will receive $100,000 from the Intel Foundation.
Wang's project, which she has been working on for about a year, is titled "Polyoxovanadate-based Surfactants: The Search for an Effective Heterogeneous Catalyst." She was coached by Parkland biology teacher Laura Kowalski and science teacher Loretta Igo.
At Parkland, Wang is part of the Science Fair Club, the Tennis Team, the Debate Team, National Honor Society, Student Senate and Leo Club.
She is "very passionate" about science. Last year, she came up with an idea of introducing younger students in the Parkland School District to science in an after-school program known as Future Einsteins, she said.
Wang likes to describe herself as an explorer, because, she said, "I love traveling to new places, trying new things, and investigating the unknown. My exploring tendencies have led me to scientific research, which has given me opportunities to answer many of my questions through experimentation."
Wang said her Intel project investigates the properties of Polyoxovanadate-based surfactants - compounds that can function as both surfactants (substances that help two insoluble liquids mix together) and catalysts. She had carried out several experiments in the process.
Finalist projects are distributed among 16 categories, including bioengineering, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics and space science, behavioral and social sciences, and plant science.
The finalists were narrowed down from 300 semifinalists and more than 1,700 entrants.