By Heather Dalton
Two local residents, Regina Glick and Sarah Sirota, were among 300 high school seniors who recently made it to the semifinal round of the Intel Science Talent Search. The prestigious competition, sponsored by Westinghouse until two years ago, is designed to stimulate the minds of aspiring high school seniors interested in the natural and the social sciences.
Sarah and Regina are seniors at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Their school offers an optional class designed specifically for the Intel competition. The two young women enrolled in the program early on in their high school careers. They began working on their projects for the contest as far back as their sophomore and junior years. Regina studied the "effects of prompting self-monitoring on the academic performance amongst inner city, at-risk students." Sarah explored the "relationship between black people’s self view and world view." Much of their research was done on weekends and over summer vacations.
In addition to all the work they undertook to complete their projects for this extra class, the girls then went through a grueling application process for the Intel competition. They compiled six essays, obtained teacher recommendations, listed their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and SAT scores. All of this on top of their regular course load and trying to apply to colleges.
Regina and Sarah were relieved when their class was finished and their projects were finally submitted for the competition. It was a huge bonus when their names were announced as semifinalists.
"I wasn’t too concerned with winning," said Regina. "I just wanted to get my project finished for my class."
"I was so shocked I won," Sarah confessed.
Both girls attribute much of their success to their parents and their mentors who helped advise them with their projects.
"My mom helped me make sure everything got done by its deadline," Sarah explained. "And my mentor dedicated lots of time to helping me."
Regina said her parents have always made her feel like she could accomplish anything.
Making it to the semifinal round of the Intel Science Talent Search is quite an accomplishment. Over 15,000 applications from across the nation were submitted for the contest. Of the 300 semifinalists chosen, 40 finalists will go on to Washington, D.C. and the top 10 will be interviewed with their projects. The grand prize is a $100,000 scholarship.
Regina and Sarah are surprisingly calm as they wait to hear if they will be heading to Washington. Their sense of cool seems to come from the fact that they are both very proud of the work they’ve put into their projects. They seem content to focus their attention back to other high school activities like cheerleading, drama, yearbook and applying to college. Regina is interested in attending Tufts University in Massachusetts and Sarah is looking at Princeton and Dartmouth. Whatever the final outcome of the Intel competition, its obvious Sarah and Regina will be outstanding assets to any college.