Regeneron Science Talent Search, which is specially designed for high school seniors, has given out over $ 1.8 million to the best ten candidates that showcased their scientific leadership, as well as great abilities for solving problems.
This is the first time in 78 years the competition will hold virtually, but this didn’t stop the credibility and excitement of the award, as the very best of talents were discovered and top winners announced. This is how a 17-year-old girl from Los Alamos, New Mexico – Lillian Key Peterson took home a quarter million dollars ($250,000).
This lady invented a tool that helps in predicting harvests very early during the planting season. This goes a long way in improving the planning of food distribution and provides a positive resource to assist groups striving hard to solve the global food insecurity.
First of all, she validated her tool, which helps in analyzing the satellite imagery every day, making use of accepted vegetation health measures on known data on domestic crops. After doing this, she went ahead to test it for some African countries and predicted harvests successfully with great accuracy after comparing it with reported yields.
Her motivation to develop this came after her parents adopted some children that went through food insecurity. She also read how famine affected millions of Ethiopians which led to developmental learning issues in many children.
Jagdeep Bhatia of New Jersey, claimed the second spot going home with $175,000 after the 18-year-old developed two simple machine algorithms for computer programs aiming to learn new concepts under an instructor’s authority, either a human or a computer. While the third prize of $150,000 was awarded to Brendan Cotty.
Congratulations to the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020 winners. Students like Lillian Petersen are the stewards of our future. The current pandemic has made it clear how important science is to our wellbeing. With these finalists at the forefront of scientific and engineering discovery, I know we are in good hands. They will be solving the world’s most intractable problems.Maya Ajmera (Society of science and the Public President)
Featured image source: Regeneron Science Talent Search