Four local high school seniors from Livermore and Tracy have been awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) prestigious Edward Teller Science Scholarship.
The awards, instituted in 2004 in honor of the late Dr. Teller, renowned physicist and Lab co-founder, are given annually by the Laboratory to graduating seniors who excel in science studies.
This year’s award winners from the Livermore Valley Unified School District are Matthew Hawkins from Livermore High School and Manika Paul from Granada High School. The Tracy Unified School District winners are Dennis Coleto of West High School and Mary Shi of Tracy High School. Each receives a scholarship of $1,500 toward a college education.
Hawkins has applied his science course curriculum to extracurricular activities. This year, he and two classmates built and programmed an autonomous robot that qualified for the world championships. He also has participated in engineering challenges including catapult and hovercraft building. In the fall, Hawkins will attend University of California San Diego to study mechanical engineering.
Paul completed Granada High School’s Biotechnology Pathway program, designed for students who have an interest in pursuing biotechnology as a career path. The Sandia National Laboratories Women’s Council honored her as the outstanding Granada High School junior girl in science. She was a captain and outstanding member of the Granada High science bowl team that placed 2nd in the regional competition. She participated in a Department of Transportation program in which she was named “Engineer of the Future.”
Coleto regularly participates in advanced placement physics study sessions, and often assists students who ask for help. He has led science activities at elementary school science nights, made presentations about engineering to 8th grade classes, and helped incoming freshmen learn skills that will prepare them for high school. He has served as a teaching assistant for the Science Olympiad team at the Freiler School in Tracy. Coleto plans to attend Santa Clara University this fall where he will study engineering physics.
Shi was awarded the Sandia National Laboratories Outstanding Science Achievement Award as a junior and has worked in a laboratory at Sandia during the summer. She attended a microbial genome annotation workshop at the Joint Genome Institute and made such an impression that she was asked for input on expanding the training to high school students. Her team that attended the workshop was the only group from a high school, while others represented a university, college and a medical school faculty. Shi will attend Yale University in the fall.
Richard Farnsworth, Scott Wilson and Nadine Horner of LLNL presented the awards to the students at the high schools’ awards ceremonies.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (www.llnl.gov) is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.