Science project wins scholarship

March 14, 2007|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,Sun Reporter

An 18-year-old senior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute placed in the top 10 of the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition yesterday.

Emma Call's project - "Self-Assembling Three-Dimensional Microcontainers for Cell Encapsulation - placed 10th and won her a $20,000 college scholarship at an awards gala last night in Washington. She is enrolled in the Ingenuity Project, an accelerated math and science program for public school students in the city.

Call, who lives in Mount Washington, said she applied micro-engineering techniques to create tiny metallic containers no larger than a speck of dust for use in medical applications. She envisioned that the tiny containers might be used someday in cell-encapsulation therapy for treatment of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's.

About 1,700 high school students across the country entered the competition, dubbed the "Junior Nobel Prize." The entries were whittled down to 40 finalists who spent the week in Washington for judging, said Brenda Musilli, Intel's director of education. The top 10 entries receive scholarships.

"If you put this in perspective, just to become one of the top 40 finalists is a very significant accomplishment, Musilli said. "I've spent the whole week getting to know the students. ... Emma is just a very remarkable young woman, obviously very accomplished in her field."

Call was one of six female entrants placing in the top 10, a first in the competition. She said she worked for three years with David Gracias, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.

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