Yesterday, the Society for Science & the Public announced the top 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Greenwich High School senior Raina Jain was among the list of finalists for her project: "Control of Varroa destructor Infestation with a Dual-Function Thymol Emitting Honey Bee Hive Entranceway."
The 2020 finalists were selected from 1,993 highly qualified entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and extensive application process. Earlier this month, the Society and Regeneron named the top 300 scholars, of which Greenwich High School had four students named: Cynthia Chen, Hiba Hussain, Raina Jain and Justin Speaker. The finalists were selected based on their projects' scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientists and leaders. Since 2012, Greenwich High School has had four Science Talent Search Finalists: Stephen LeBreton in 2012, Annie Merrill in 2013, and two students in 2017, Ethan Novek and Derek Woo.
Greenwich High School Science Teacher and Research Advisor, Mr. Andrew Bramante said, "I'm very proud of Raina for her tremendous innovation, imagination, and vision, to create a solution that will safeguard our pollinators, and ensure the health of our food resources."
Raina Jain will travel to Washington, D.C. from March 5-11, 2020, where she will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. She will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with Members of Congress and display her project to the public on March 8. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020 winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 10. In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search, which includes the awards to finalists as well as the $2,000 provided to each of the Top 300 Scholars and their schools.
About Raina Jain's Project
"Control of Varroa destructor Infestation with a Dual-function, Thymol-Emitting Honey Bee Hive Entranceway"
Recent research findings have provided compelling evidence that the disappearance of our honey bees can be attributed to the infestation of beehives by Varroa destructor, a bee-specific parasite (mite) that draws the fat bodies (or liver) from honey bees and their larvae. Bee fat bodies are responsible for many important functions that provide overall health to our honey producers, including resistance to pesticides. With these findings, it is clear that varroa mites are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder. In Raina's research, she developed a dual-function thymol-emitting bee-hive entranceway that will remove (and kill) varroa mites that are attached to passing bees simply from the rubbing action as bees pass through the holes of the entranceway. Simultaneously, the entranceway emits thymol gas within the hive, creating a hostile environment for the mites, in order to protect their attack of the unborn bee larvae. Her invention is currently being tested in bee hives throughout the USA. The data from these beekeepers thus far is positive and exciting, suggesting that her invention has the potential to save the honey bees.
About the Regeneron Science Talent Search
The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public since 1942, is the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Each year, around 2,000 student entrants submit original research in critically important scientific fields of study and are judged by leading experts in their fields. Unique among high school competitions in the U.S. and around the world, the Regeneron Science Talent Search focuses on identifying, inspiring and engaging the nation's most promising young scientists who are creating the ideas that could solve society's most urgent challenges.
In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search as a way to help reward and celebrate the best and brightest young minds and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM as a way to positively impact the world. Through its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually, increasing the top award to $250,000 and doubling the awards for the top 300 scholars and their schools to $2,000 each to inspire more young people to engage in science.
Program alumni include recipients of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including 11 National Medals of Science, five Breakthrough Prizes, 21 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, two Fields Medals and 13 Nobel Prizes.