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Science Fair Triumphs

Growing up, whenever I saw science fairs depicted on a television show or featured on the local news I always thought they looked pretty cool. I would imagine myself standing next to some neat experiment with a colorful poster explaining what I had done. This little fantasy never came true for two main reasons. First, I don’t remember my school ever having any science fairs and second, I didn’t really like science classes that much. (I know, I know, I’m posting this on “Fairer Science.” At some point I’ll write about the innovative science courses I took as an undergraduate and hopefully make up for this shocking admission).

Today I want to celebrate three amazing young women who recently stood next to their colorful posters at a national science competition, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. But they did more than just stand there, they won the whole shebang. For the first time ever, the winners of the individual and group grand prizes were all young women. Isha Jain from Bethlehem, PA won the individual grand prize (and a $100,000 scholarship) for her research on bone growth. Her work has already been published and the judges “found her work to be at graduate student level.” Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Harinoff of Plainview, NY won the team grand prize for their tuberculosis research (they will split a $100,000 scholarship). There’s talk of their work helping to develop new treatments for tuberculosis.

If you get a chance, check out this this Business Week article or this MSNBC article for more photos of the fabulous winners, some great quotations from them, and more information about their impressive accomplishments.

Pat pointed out an interesting fact about the competition, one that reminds us that there’s still more to do: 75% of the finalists have a parent who is a scientist. Pat commented that “(big sigh) the best way to get more top scientists still seems to be for scientists to have more children and we guess that means that we at FairerScience just have to work harder.”

Posted for Jenn by Pat who promises that Jenn will be doing her own posting next week