Local high school seniors receive Edward Teller Science scholarships

June 5, 2014

Local high school seniors receive Edward Teller Science scholarships

Carenda L Martin, martin59@llnl.gov, 925-424-4715

Five local high school seniors from Livermore and Tracy have been awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's 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 Joint Unified School District areAubrianna DeckerfromLivermore High School andSteven Wangfrom Granada High School.The Tracy Unified School District winners are Chandler Chen of West High School, Aditya Dutta Gupta of Tracy High School and Natalie Pearlman of Kimball High School. Each receives a scholarship of $1,000 toward a college education.

Decker excels at math and science and pursues her passion with zest and commitment. She is particularly passionate about biotechnology research and the mechanics of living cells.  Her investigations drove her to interact with college students and veteran researchers around the Bay Area. Decker plans to study genetics and molecular biology at UC Berkeley with the hope that her efforts will in some way improve the quality of life for others.

Wang graduates as the Granada High School valedictorian and has shown a true passion for science as evidenced by his advanced level of coursework, academic performance and independent research projects. He is a National Merit finalist, received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT and scored 2270 on the SAT. Teachers that have worked with him describe him as uniquely talented, funny, kind and inventive. Wang will attend UC Berkeley to study computer science.

Chen has been focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics throughout his four years at West High School. He will be an honors graduate of West High's Space & Engineering Academy (SEA). In the SEA, he took the most advanced science and mathematics courses offered. He has been an active member of the Science Olympiad team for all four years of high school, earning medals in microbe mission, Fermi questions, water quality, designer genes, and compound machines. He was on the academic decathlon team, earning a gold medal in science, and he was in the Wolfpack's competitive Robotics Club.  Chen participated on a team with two other SEA students and made West High's only entry into the County Science Fair this year. Chen will attend UC Berkeley this fall, where he is planning to major in mechanical engineering.

Guptahas been focused on science throughout his four years at Tracy High School. He has taken full advantage of Tracy High School's science offerings having taken the most advanced science and biotechnology classes and achieved high marks in all of them. In addition to his studies, he is a science leader in the community. Gupta was the Scientifically Speaking Club president this year and managed to lead a very successful partnership with South/West Park School. The Scientifically Speaking Club visited South/West Park four times, bringing high school students to demonstrate science to the elementary school. Gupta will attend USC in the fall to study biomedical engineering.

Pearlmanhas been focused on science, mathematics, leadership and athletics throughout her four years at Kimball High School. As part of the Health Science and Education (HSE) pathway, she has spent countless hours preparing for a career in medicine. In the HSE, she took the most advanced science and mathematics classes, in addition to four years of leadership class and participating in year round sports. Pearlman also participated in science fairs and recently a summer program called Decision Medicine, which allows students to shadow doctors and observe surgeries. 

Pearlman will attend the University of Washington this fall, where she is planning on a major in biological sciences.

Joanna Albala, Nadine Horner, and Nolan O'Brien of LLNL presented the awards to the students at the high schools' awards ceremonies.

Carenda L Martin