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2 Plainview JFK Students Named Intel Semifinalists

Seniors to compete in finals of prestigious national science competition.

Two Plainview JFK seniors have been named semifinalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search.

Sunny Zheng and James Shamul are among 300 students whose projects were recognized for the competition:

  • Zheng worked two summers at NYU-Poly in the BioCatalysis and BioProcessing of Macro-molecules:  His Lab director is Richard Gross, a Plainview parent and his direct mentor is, Stephen Spinella. His project title: "Cellulose Nanowhiskers: Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Incorporation in Epoxidized Polymers."
  • Shamul worked three summers at Stony Brook Biotechnology Program, including the lab of Dr. Valentina Schmidt, assisted by Jason Littman, a Plainview JFK graduate. His project title: "A Search for Novel MicroRNAs Triggering Liver Cancer Development."

"Congratulations to the entire research team and to the amazing 23 projects that were submitted," said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview's superintendent of schools. "It takes a great deal of effort to reach this zenith. I am enormously proud of our students, staff and administrators."

"We are so proud of their success and also celebrate all of the outstanding work done by all of our Science and Behavioral students who submitted papers to INTEL," said Joyce Barry, chairperson of science, research and technology, K-12. Barry praised MaryLou O'Donnell, independent research teacher coordinator and the entire school staff and community. "It is a great day in POB!"

The semifinalists for 2013 were selected from among 1,712 entrants representing 467 high schools in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and two U.S. overseas schools.

Each of the 300 students named a semifinalist will receive a $1,000 award for his or her outstanding research. To recognize excellence in teaching, each school will receive $1,000 for each semifinalist named. This award is used to further excellence in science, math, and/or engineering education.

From this group of 300 Intel STS 2013 semifinalists, 40 finalists will be chosen to attend the Intel Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C. from March 7–13, 2013. During their trip to Washington, these finalists will undergo further judging and share $630,000 in awards.


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