Utah teen named top high school scientist

March 15, 2006

The Intel Corp. has awarded 18-year-old Shannon Babb of Highland, Utah, a $100,000 scholarship for winning first place in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Babb joins a group of competition winners that include six Nobel Laureates, three National Medal of Science winners, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellows and two Fields Medalists, Intel officials said during the Tuesday night awards presentation in Washington.

Babb conducted a 6-month study to identify water quality after observing carp thrashing wildly in the Spanish Fork River, The New York Times reported. "They were trying to breathe," she told The Times.

Babb analyzed the chemical and physical properties along the river drainage system and contends the water-quality problem can be resolved with a combination of restructuring and educating the public that household chemicals should not be poured into drains.

Yi Sun, 17 of San Jose, Calif., received second-place honors and a $75,000 scholarship for discovering geometric properties of random walks, a mathematical theory.

Yuan "Chelsea" Zhang, 17, of Rockville, Md., won third-place and a $50,000 scholarship for researching the molecular genetic mechanisms behind heart disease.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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