Jan. 27, 2010:
On the heels of the recent announcement of Harker’s four Intel Science Talent Search (STS) semifinalists, word came Jan. 27 that Namrata Anand, Gr. 12, was named a finalist in the contest. Anand, whose project analyzed the chemical composition of stars in the Andromeda galaxy, received $7,500 and will travel to Washington, D.C. in March to compete for the $100,000 grand prize with 40 other finalists from across the country. She will also have a chance to meet and greet with Nobel laureates and President Barack Obama.
Anand is Harker’s first Intel STS finalist since 2006, when Yi Sun went on to claim second place and won a $75,000 scholarship.
Kate Schafer, upper school biology teacher, credited the mentors involved who assisted the semifinalists, and also recognized the “many students that enter and put in amazing amounts of time” into their projects.
Anand and other students working on Andromeda-related projects received mentoring from Raja Guha Thakurta, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, as well as UCSC P.h.D students Evan Kirby and Kristen Howley. Karoline Gilbert, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington Seattle, also assisted with Thakurta with mentoring the students. The mentors provided everything from custom software to personal guidance to the contestants as they worked on their projects.
Anand’s achievement was covered in an article by the San Jose Mercury News on the day the finalists were announced.
Jan. 13, 2010:
Four Harker upper school students were named Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists at a special assembly on Jan. 13. Each student was awarded $1,000 and has a shot at becoming one of the 40 finalists who will compete in Washington, D.C., for the $100,000 grand prize. A total of 300 semifinalists were chosen nationwide from an initial pool of 1,700 contestants.
Of the four semifinalists, all of them seniors, three were selected for projects focusing on the Andromeda galaxy. Namrata Anand’s project analyzed the chemical makeup of stars to learn more about the galaxy’s history, while Andrew Zhou studied the different star types in the galaxy. Kevin Zhang looked at the similarities between Andromeda’s stars and those found in other galaxies. Vishesh Jain was awarded for his project that analyzed heart disease diagnosis techniques.
Last year, Harker produced six semifinalists, the most ever by a West Coast school and the seventh-most in the nation. Harker alumnus Yi Sun ’06 took second place in the 2006 finals, earning $75,000.