Montana Student Wins Westinghouse Science Talent Search ScholarshipAP , Associated Press
Mar. 15, 1994 1:44 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) _ An 18-year-old from Helena, Mont., who designed and built his own furnaces to study the burning of plastic wastes is winner of the first-place $40,000 scholarship in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.
Forrest Newell Anderson of Helena High School won the national contest by using two hand-built furnaces to develop a way of analyzing solids and gases given off by the burning of waste plastics, contest officials announced Monday.
The decision by judges gives Anderson top prize in a national contest that was entered by 1,645 high school seniors. He was selected from among 40 students from 20 states who competed in the finals of the contest in Washington.
A second-place scholarship of $30,000 was awarded to Jennifer Yu-Fe Lin, 17, of Flushing, N.Y. She had a biology project on cell growth and differentiation.
John Laurence Staub, 19, of Sisseton, S.D., won the third-place $20,000 scholarship with a psychology project comparing methods of teaching science to third graders.
Anderson said that his winning project may help industry recycle waste plastics into commercially valuable petrochemical products without producing byproducts that could damage the environment.
The Montana student is the son of Newell Burke and Bonnie Jean Anderson of Helena. He is at the top of his high school class, and has served as captain of the wrestling and cross-country track teams, and played in the school orchestra.
Anderson plans to study physical chemistry, physics or psychology at Rice University.
The rest of the top 10 winners and their scholarship amounts were:
4. Robert Christopher Sarvis, 17, Alexandria, Va., $15,000.
5. Steven Daniel Sherman, 18, Winona, Minn., $15,000.
6. Flora Tartakovsky, 17, New York City, $15,000.
7. Janos Zahajszky, 17, Canton, Mass., $10,000.
8. Jennifer Melissa Kalish, 17, Baltimore, $10,000.
9. Margaret Chalmers Bothner, 17, Falmouth, Mass., $10,000.
10. Jamel Lamonte Oeser-Sweat, 17, New York City, $10,000.
First alternate was William Whitney Burke-White, 17, of Exeter, N.H., and second alternate was Peng-Chu Benjamin Tu, 16, of State College, Pa.
The alternates and 28 other finalists all receive $1,000 scholarships.
Westinghouse Electric Corp. has sponsored the annual science talent search for 53 years. It is the oldest high school science competition in the country. In past decades, most finalists in the contest have gone on to careers in science or engineering. Five have won Nobel prizes, 30 have been named to the National Academy of Sciences, and three have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, Westinghouse says.