TRACY, Calif. –Two Tracy high school students have won the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s prestigious Edward Teller Science Scholarship. Award recipients are Janelle Silvis of Tracy High School and Cai Roberts of West High School. This marks the first time the award has been presented to Tracy students.
Instituted in 2004 in honor of the late Dr. Teller, renowned physicist and Lab co-founder, the awards are given by the Laboratory to graduating seniors selected by the district who excel in science studies. Each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship and is eligible for an internship at the Lab when they complete their first year of college.
Silvis is a member of the Agricultural and Scientific Academy. She has taken two years of biotechnology courses an hour before normal school begins. She also has taken many of the International Baccalaureate Program science courses offered at Tracy High. During her high school career, she has completed eight different high school science classes. She has extended her knowledge and love of science outside the classroom working with a partner and conducting a research project focusing on the development of a DNA fingerprinting method based on a plant’s photosystem II gene. She presented her findings at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia, and the project was entered into the Sacramento Regional Science Fair.
Silvis’ science teacher, Kirk Brown said: “Janelle is motivated to learn the material because she is truly interested. She is a wonderful student that is a joy to be around and her passion for the subject will follow her to college.” She will attend UC Santa Cruz.
Roberts is at the top of his class in both advanced placement biology and advanced placement physics. Randy Moehnke, West High science department chair said, “In each of his four years of high school, Cai has chosen to take the most challenging science courses offered that year, and he has excelled in each course — from honors biology and chemistry courses to advanced placement courses.”
Roberts accomplished his science studies along with being a member of the school orchestra for all four years, participating in the American Legion’s Boys State program, and taking advanced placement courses in English, social science, modern language and mathematics. He plans to attend UC Davis and major in biomedical engineering where he can merge his love and interest in math and physics with his interest in the biological sciences.
The awards are to be presented to the students by Laboratory managers at each of their high school’s awards ceremonies in Tracy.
For more information about the scholarship, contact Richard Farnsworth, manager of LLNL’s Science and Technology Education Program at 925-422-5059.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and to apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.