At least 70 Indian-American high school seniors figure in the list of 300 students who were declared scholars, formerly called semifinalists, last week in the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and the most prestigious pre-college science competition.
The RSTS, a program of the Society for Science and the Public, recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges.
Each scholar receives a $2,000 award from Regeneron with an additional $2,000 going to his or her school, resulting in $1.2 million in total scholar awards aimed at inspiring more young people to engage in science.
The competition overall awards $3.1 million to provide the opportunities and resources that students need to become the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and STEM leaders. RSTS said in a press statement that 40 finalists from the pool of the 300 semifinalists will be announced Jan. 24.
“For most high school students, extracurricular activities mean playing on the basketball team, acting in a school play or running for student council. But for 300 remarkable U.S. high school seniors, they do these activities in addition to spending countless hours conducting independent research aimed at solving our world’s most pressing challenges through science,” Maya Ajmera, president and CEO the Society said in a blog post.
The Indian-American scholars who include Aakshi Agarwal, of Hamden High School, Hamden, Conn.; Nikhil Devraj of Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, N.Y. and Nishita Sinha of Chatham High School, Chatham, N.J., hail from almost all U.S. states, including Illinois and California. The most number of Indian-American students in the list are from California, 10 and Texas, 7. In addition, two students from Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai, which, a spokesperson clarified, are American overseas schools, also figure in the list.
“This year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars represent our country’s best and brightest young scientists, who are working to develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges through their research,” Ajmera said.
These students were selected from more than 1,700 entrants on the basis of their exceptional scientific promise, excellent academic record and outstanding recommendations from teachers and other scientists.
“Many of these 300 scholars were inspired to tackle problems facing their communities or health issues experienced by loved ones — they wanted to make a difference in the world around them. To be clear, their projects go far above and beyond the high school level,” Ajmera said.