Chin named Intel Science semifinalist

Andrew Lim, Staff Writer

The Society for Science & the Public has named senior Michelle Chin as one of its semifinalists in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search. Chin was one of 300 semifinalists chosen from 1,700 applicants in the U.S. and overseas schools.

“Each year, the Intel Science Talent Search honors high school seniors poised to lead in U.S. scientific innovation,” Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation, said in a statement. “This year, these young scientists are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges in topics ranging from environmental conservation solutions to medical treatments.”

Intel is recognizing Chin’s research in “Improving Drought Resistance by identifying the Underlying Mechanisms of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 4 and its Interaction with Substrate MKS1.”

“This is huge. Michelle is one of four high school students from Florida to be chosen,” said Paula Ladd, who was Chin’s mentor during her research. “Intel looks at more than the research [Chin] has done. They look at academics and the person as a whole. It’s one of the most significant awards a senior can earn.”

Chin said she is excited to be recognized.

“I was really honored because it’s such a big deal,” she said. “I felt ecstatic that I was recognized by such a large company.”

Chin received $1,000 for her work, and another $1,000 was awarded to West Shore.

“Mr. Fleming said the money will go to science research,” Chin said. “It’s important to fund because without research and technology, we would not be where we are today. All the advancements we have are due to science.

Forty of the 300 semifinalists will be named as finalists Jan. 23. Finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will compete further in the competition. Although each finalist will receive $7,500, the top 10 winners will receive awards totaling $305,000.

“Given what she has been given, [Chin] is the most humble person and is so self-motivated,” Ladd said. “I would be shocked if she isn’t chosen as a finalist.”

The Intel Foundation also recognized Ladd as a “Teacher of Merit” for her guidance.

“Ms. Ladd gave me guidance to turn in all my papers so I think it’s great that she’s being recognized,” Chin said, “and I’m also glad that West Shore as a school is being recognized.”