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.