Chatham High School senior Sophie Andrews has been named a top 300 scholar in the 78th Regeneron Science Talent Search—the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors.

Andrews will receive $2,000; as a result of Sophie’s accomplishment, Chatham High School will also receive $2,000 to use toward STEM-related activities.

Andrews could also be named as one of 40 Finalists, who each receive $25,000 and are invited to Washington, DC for the final competition in March. The top prize for the most promising emerging STEM leader in the United States is $250,000.

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“I'm really excited about being a Regeneron scholar," Andrews said. "It is not only a recognition of my research but also an affirmation of the inspiring and supportive environment that CHS provides. I'm particularly grateful to the guidance from Dr. Jones and Dr. Naumova.”

The top 40 Finalists will be announced on Tuesday, January 23rd.

CHS Science teacher Yelena Naumova was also recognized with a Teacher of Merit certificate for her support and encouragement of Andrews' work.

“We are very proud of the recognition that Sophie has received from the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition," CHS Principal Darren Groh said. "Additionally, we are proud of Sophie for the commitment she has made to her learning and to the thinking of others over the last four years at Chatham High School. Sophie has a wonderful future ahead of her.”

Dr. Naumova said, “During her high school career, Sophie has completed several independent research projects ranging from music perception to cancer research. Her ability to analyze the current body of research, identify the gap in the current knowledge or the problem that needs to be solved, come up with the project that targets this gap or need, and see it through while teaching herself necessary skills and data analysis techniques are the qualities so much needed for a successful career in science.

"I am thrilled that Sophie’s project on detection of melanoma received recognition by the Regeneron Student Talent Search. This award is recognition of her dedication to science and learning. I wish Sophie to continue pursuing exciting goals and best of luck in college and beyond.”   

CHS math teacher Dr. Jones, with whom Sophie has worked on a number of different research projects as well as an independent study, said, “Sophie Andrews is one of the most motivated high school students that you will encounter. Over the past two years, largely on her own, she taught herself to program in Python and has been applying deep learning to the problem of melanoma detection. She is a well-rounded student with a remarkable record in girl’s tennis, in music as a violin concertmistress, and as a humanitarian. She has created her own web page, Sophie’s Math Corner, to promote competition-level math for middle school mathletes.”

On Jan. 23, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. Finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., from March 8-14, when they will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are engaged in trailblazing scientific research that addresses some of our most urgent global challenges. This year, research projects cover topics from space science to bioinformatics to environmental science. While in Washington, D.C., the finalists will undergo a rigorous judging process, interact with leading scientists, display their research for the public and meet with members of Congress. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala award ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 13.

In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor (alongside Intel and Westinghouse) of the Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. As part of its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually to better reward the best and brightest young minds. Founded and led by two Science Talent Search alumni, Regeneron recognizes and prioritizes the need to inspire more young people to engage in science.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,818 applicants from 555 high schools in 45 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and six American and international high schools overseas. The scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists.

“Regeneron is thrilled to partner with Society for Science & the Public to celebrate the 300 Science Talent Search scholars,” said Hala Mirza, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron. “We are inspired by their curiosity and passion for discovery, and congratulate them on their work and dedication. We hope the Regeneron Science Talent Search shows young people everywhere that they can change the world through STEM.”

“We are delighted to honor this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News. “These brilliant students have already made remarkable scientific achievements at a young age, and we are eager to see where their scientific journeys take them next.”

Science Talent Search alumni have gone on to receive more than 100 of the world’s most esteemed science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes, 11 National Medals of Science, two Fields Medals and 18 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

Guided by the belief that advances in science and engineering are key to solving global challenges, Society for Science & the Public founded the Science Talent Search in 1942, providing a national stage for the country’s best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.

For Regeneron Science Talent Search news news visit https://student.societyforscience.org/regeneron-sts.