Evanston Township High School senior Laura Goetz was named a semifinalist in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search, a prestigious pre-college science competition. Goetz is one of 300 semifinalists, and one of only five in Illinois, to be selected from more than 1,700 submissions across the country this school year.

Each year, Society for Science & the Public (SSP) provides a national stage for high school seniors to conduct original research projects and present their work to top professional scientists through the STS.

Goetz’s project is entitled “Identifying Genetic Modifiers of Polyglutamine Expansion Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Her research was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Richard Morimoto at Northwestern University. 

As a semifinalist, Goetz receives a $1,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation, with an additional $1,000 going to ETHS for future students to use in research. From the select pool of semifinalists, 40 will be chosen as finalists to compete for $1.25 million in awards and scholarships.

Established in 1942, the organization seeks out the best and brightest young scientific minds, encouraging students to tackle challenging questions and develop skills to solve tomorrow’s problems.

According to ETHS teacher Mark Vondracek, the contest examines not only the quality of research done by the student, but the entire academic portfolio. STS alumni have achieved some of the world’s most prestigious honors, including seven Nobel Prizes and 11 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grants.

In fall 2012, Goetz was also named a national semifinalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology for her research efforts.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Congratulations to Laura

    Congratulations Laura! From Lincolnwood to ETHS you've been a star. Watch out Yale; here she comes! 

  2. Congratulations to Laura again

    I'm glad to see a story like this.  We need to hear more about Evanston students who are winning honor or just making the effort to be the best they can be.

    Bad news sells and usually pushes good news out.  We certainly have enough bad news [murders, theft, assult, etc.] but we need more from the schools about students that are making their mark like Laura.

  3. ETHS and the sciences

    On the rare occasion that ETHS puts out any facts about awards or accomplishments of their graduates, I have seldom seen any mention of those in the scineces, esp. physical sciences.  They like so much of the public seems to think if they produce actors, writers and musicians, they have accomplish their goals for education.

    There  have been many grads who have made their marks in the sciences, but EtHS and Evanston press seldom mention them.

    As one example, do residents know that Leonard Mlodinow was an ETHS grad ?  He is professor at CalTech, wrote the book 'Feynman's Rainbow' about his interaction with Feynman, co-authored 'The Grand Design' and a 'Briefer History of Time' with Stephen Hawking, wrote 'The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives', and others.

    Of course the science grads don't make the cover of 'People' or the movie awards [though he did write some of the best episodes of 'Star Treck' , but to many people their contribution is vastly more important.

    I recommended to EPL and B&N that they have a display of his works, but 'no takers.'

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