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2 Seniors Named in Regeneron Science Talent Search Top 300

January 7, 2021

On January 7, the Society for Science & the Public announced the 2021 top 300 scholars in the 80th Regeneron Science Talent Search. Two Plano ISD high school seniors were named to the Top 300. Their schools will be awarded $2,000 each. On January 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. From March 10-17 all 40 finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

Congratulations to:

  • Alay Shah, Plano West Senior High School, project title: "Identifying Eye-Movement Patterns in Neurological Disorders to Assess Cognitive and Motor Function"

Alay Shah with project

Alay Shah, Plano West Senior High

  • Parisa Vaziri, Plano East Senior High School, Project Title: "The Neuro-Protective Role of FOXO in a PINK1 Loss-of-Function Based Model of Neurodegeneration in Drosophila melanogaster"

Pariza Vizari

Parisa Vaziri, Plano East Senior High.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,760 applications received from 611 high schools across 45 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and 10 countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists. This year's scholars are a diverse group of students from: 198 American and international high schools in 37 states, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Singapore.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS), a program of Society for Science, is the nation’s most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Each year, 300 Regeneron STS scholars and their schools are recognized. From that select pool of scholars, 40 student finalists are invited to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000.

“The remarkable drive, creativity and intellectual curiosity that each one of these scholars possesses represents a hopeful outlook for our future and our collective wellbeing,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science, Publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alum“At a time when many students’ educational experiences are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am incredibly humbled to see gifted young scientists and engineers eager to contribute fresh insights to solving the world’s most intractable problems.”

“An exceptional group of student leaders and innovators comprise this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars, with an array of projects that demonstrate the power of science,” said Hala Mirza, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron. “We are honored to celebrate the next generation of young scientists and inventors who can elevate the STEM community and our broader society through their high-quality research and novel discoveries. These are the inspiring problem solvers who will help address the current and future challenges facing our world.”