Pittsburgh, PA - (WALK) Three Long Island high school seniors will compete for the national, grand prize in the Siemens science competition next month, after topping the regional competition this weekend.
The team from George W. Hewlett High School are Zainab Mahmood, 17, JaiWen Pei, 17 and Priyanka Wadgaonkar, 16. The regional competition was held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The winning project explored the process of using DNA to help plants survive drought, salt-encroachment, and harmful bacteria. Applications may help future farmers raise heartier crops in harsh environments to feed more people, according to school officials.
The three young women from Hewlett will next face five other regional finalists at the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology in Washington D.C., December 7- 10 at George Washington University. The grand prize is a $100,000 scholarship.
A team of three Hewlett High School seniors won the top prize last year for their research about a plant protein, possibly helpful in combating cancer.
Photo: J. Comeau