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Ossining High School Student Named Intel Competition Finalist

Soon Il Higashino
Soon Il Higashino Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining High School senior Soon Il Higashino was named one of 40 national finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search competition. 

“This is an amazing accomplishment as many consider this the most competitive science competition for any high school student,” said Ossining High School Principal Josh Mandel. “Remarkably this is the third finalist in the last four years from the OHS Science Research program.” 

Higashino and the other finalists will present their work in Washington in March and compete for more than $1 million in awards. The three top awards are for $150,000 each. 

For her project “Species Richness of Cutaneous Bacteria Varies with Urbanization: Implications of the Effects of Habitat Conditions on Defense Mechanisms of Plethodon Cinereus,” Higashino researched whether types of bacteria found on the skin of red-backed salamanders can prevent fungi from growing. She identified several species of bacteria that can be used to protect these declining species.

The competition's finalists come from 38 high schools in 18 states out of 1,750 applicants from 512 schools. 

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