The winners of the annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology were announced yesterday. Taking home the top prizes of $100K scholarships, for the first time ever in both the individual and group categories, were... a bunch of GIRLS.
Isha Jain of Bethlehem, PA, won the individual prize for her research on bone growth in zebrafish, while Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff of Plainview, NY, received the group prize for their work on tuberculosis treatments.
All three girls are public school students, though all three conducted their research in local university labs under the guidance of faculty and grad students who had agreed to mentor them. [Insert homeschooly maunderings about the importance and relative efficacy of one-on-one mentoring in a subject that interests the students... OK, that's over.]
Rock on, ladies, and best wishes for many future years of lab-coated amazingness.
[Edited to add this, from the NYT story about the competition:
One of the most popular was by three home-schooled girls from Pennsylvania and New Jersey — Caroline Lang, 16; Rebecca Ehrhardt, 15; and Naomi Collipp, 16 — who used a Power Point presentation to demonstrate their “Burgercam” monitoring system. It is designed to determine when E. coli bacteria in hamburgers have been safely eliminated by measuring the shrinkage of each patty when fully cooked.
Several hundreds of hamburgers later, the girls took home fifth place and $20,000 in scholarship money.
Caroline, Rebecca and Naomi, called “the Hamburger Girls,” said they had been friends since they were toddlers and had stayed in touch through a group for home-schooled children.
“They were concerned it wasn’t sophisticated enough, but they wanted to try,” said Rebecca’s mother, Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, a plasma physicist.
A Burgercam? How cute is that?]