5 Intel Semifinalists Named at Syosset High School

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Syosset High School students Alexandra Chan, Daniel Hirsch, Rachel Kang, Joshua Katz and Benjamin Senzer have been named national semifinalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. Of the 300 semifinalists, 44 were selected from Long Island schools, with Syosset garnering the second-highest total of selections in Nassau and Suffolk.

“I couldn't be more proud of our students and their teachers, who work so hard to make their success a reality,” said Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante. “To submit to Intel is a major accomplishment in and of itself, but to be selected as a semifinalist is truly extraordinary. This is a true honor for the entire Syosset community.”

Alexandra was selected for her research that supports the hypothesis that greater variation in DNA sequences caused by sexual reproduction is beneficial to the evolution of organisms. Daniel’s research demonstrates that correlations exist between business success and different characteristics of the founders of Fortune 1000 companies. Rachel researched solar energy solutions for operating the Long Island Rail Road. Joshua examined TSP2 proteins that are found to inhibit the formation of new blood vessels, and LOX, which has been linked to promote metastasis of malignant tumors, in the treatment of cancer. Benjamin assessed the negative effects of pollutants in marsh biomes by studying microscopic organisms taken shells collected from Tobay and Crab Meadow beaches.

Each semifinalist receives a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation, with an additional $1,000 going to his or her school. There were 1,750 entrants from 512 high schools in 43 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and six American and international high schools overseas. On Jan. 20, 40 finalists will be named.