The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

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The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Regeneron Science Talent Search: A Race Against The Clock

Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is a research-based science competition. Often referred to as “the nation’s oldest and most prestigious” science competition, each year, around 2,000 students across the country complete the tedious application process and submit their individually completed research projects for evaluation. This year, 21 North High seniors submitted projects they completed over the summer to Regeneron STS, the largest to ever do so in North High history. Despite the stress-inducing process, every senior accomplished their goal, and the entire class celebrated with a “We Submitted Party” afterward.

On Nov. 8th at 8 p.m., North High students were going about their usual activities. Some were eating dinner, some were taking a nap, and some were dutifully completing their homework. However, for a select group of students, some were fearfully looking at the clock. To these students, the clock was ticking too fast, and now, it was only up to them to finish what they had spent their entire summers preparing for—the Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition (Regeneron STS).

Regeneron STS first began in 1942 by the Society for Science and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. For the first 57 years, it was known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search until in May 2016, when it was announced that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals would be the new title sponsor. At its core, Regeneron STS is a research-based science competition with around 2,000 applicants per year. Entrants are required to conduct original research and submit a research paper detailing their study. However, not only does the application process include a paper, but applicants also need to submit letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, extracurricular activities and high school transcripts. This makes the selection process highly competitive and the limited available winning spots all the more prestigious.

Regeneron Science Talent Search Logo. (Credit: Society For Science).
Regeneron Science Talent Search Logo (Credit: Society For Science).

Each year, Regeneron STS offers awards totaling $3.1 million. In mid-January, the top 300 Regeneron STS Scholars are announced and named semifinalists with each winner receiving $2,000. In late January, 40 semifinalists are named the top 40 finalists. These finalists then travel to Washington D.C. in March where they present their work to a panel of judges. Eventually, the judges announce the top ten winners based on the depth of the applicants’ STEM knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. From first to tenth place, the monetary awards range from $250,000 to $40,000. The remaining 30 finalists who do not place receive an award of $25,000 each.

This year, 21 North High seniors submitted their projects to Regeneron, the largest number of seniors to ever do so in North High history. The projects range from being completed in a lab alongside mentors to projects completed individually. Seniors found their mentor through email or preexisting connections and were required to attend virtual or in-person meetings with their mentor throughout the summer and if needed, into the school year. Despite the stress that came with having to spend the majority of their time working on getting results, many seniors enjoyed the research procedure.

The 2023 Regeneron STS first, second and third-place winners pose for a photo. From left to right: Emily Ocasio (second place), Neel Moudgal (first place) and Ellen Xu (third place). (Credit: Society For Science).
The 2023 Regeneron STS first, second and third-place winners pose for a photo. From left to right: Emily Ocasio (second place), Neel Moudgal (first place) and Ellen Xu (third place) (Credit: Society For Science).

Senior Sue Zhang said, “My favorite part of the Regeneron process was my mentor because she guided me through the process and was extremely helpful and supportive.”

However, submitting to Regeneron did not come without anxiety. Seniors were required to thoroughly comb through the application due to the endless amount of small details Regeneron could disqualify projects on. Additionally, Regeneron is infamous for its tight deadlines and competitive nature causing not only this year’s seniors to be anxious, but also inciting apprehension in this year’s juniors.

Junior Stephanie Tsai said, “I’m worried about coming up with a research project that reflects my three years of being a part of science research yet also aligns with my interests and possible future career options.”

Nevertheless, this year all 21 seniors successfully completed their projects and celebrated their accomplishments with a party. Everyone got through the daunting and stressful process, and seniors hope to ease juniors’ anxieties by offering advice. 

Senior Nicole Yeroushalmi said, “I think the biggest takeaway is that everything comes together in the end, especially when you are willing to put the work in. Everything really does pay off, and I am proud of the work I put in and the project I produced.”

Senior Melvin Thu also said, “Do everything early.”

Senior researchers and Mr. Schorn pose for a photo during the “We Submitted Party.” From left to right: Amitha Kumar, Katie Ng, Mr. Schorn, Caileen Makani, Nicole Yeroushalmi and Molly Nasiri. (Credit: Caileen Makani).
Senior researchers and Mr. Schorn pose for a photo during the “We Submitted Party.” From left to right: Amitha Kumar, Katie Ng, Mr. Schorn, Caileen Makani, Nicole Yeroushalmi and Molly Nasiri (Credit: Caileen Makani).

In the meantime, seniors are preparing for the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) which will take place in January, and the Senior Symposium which will take place in December. As January nears, the seniors wait in anticipation for the results to come out. No matter the result, the seniors are in consensus that the research experience is a valuable one and that they are all winners in the end.

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About the Contributor
Lillian Wu, Associate Editor
Lillian Wu is one of Guide Post’s associate editors. She enjoys writing, playing Go, looking at brain teasers, and is an officer for the Pre-Med Club. She is also part of the swim, winter track, and spring track teams. In addition to writing for Guide Post, Lillian enjoys volunteering in her free time and learning new things. Whether at school or home, you can find her daydreaming and thinking about life.

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