Home Community Blog Waterford School Students are Named to Top 300 Student Scientists in the Nation


2021 Top 300 Scholars, Regeneron Science Talent Search

Tarun with Project
Tarun M. ’21 with his project. 

Society for Science (the Society) today announced that Tarun M., a Class XII student at Waterford School, was among the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Tarun will receive $2,000, and Waterford will receive $2,000.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,760 applications received from 611 high schools across 45 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and 10 countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists, and hail from 198 American and international high schools in 37 states, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei, and Singapore.

When Tarun isn’t researching dengue fever, you most likely will find him working with Middle School students as a coach for Waterford’s Middle School Math Club or running Mission Math, a community middle school math competition for all of Salt Lake City. Tarun helped found Mission Math along with his older sister Tanisha (’18). He has also recently published a book The Number Monster and all proceeds of sales go to UNICEF.

The title of Tarun’s research report is: Prediction of Dengue Fever Outbreaks Using Climate Variability and Markov Chain Monte Carlo Techniques in a Stochastic Susceptible-Infected-Removed Model. Tarun’s research falls into the category of applied mathematics. He used techniques of mathematical modeling to tackle the problem of the deadly mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever. His work creates an ability for the medical community to more accurately predict where outbreaks will occur, thereby allowing them to implement vaccination protocols in those high-risk areas. 

“This project was a personal interest for Tarun as he has extended family members that live in areas susceptible to dengue fever outbreaks. Tarun’s personal interest in the spread and treatment of viruses began with dengue fever and has only intensified with our current pandemic. He plans to continue his research in college next year. The level of mathematics involved in Tarun’s research goes well beyond our typical high school curriculum using advanced methods of linear algebra and statistics to create and test the mathematical models involved. ” – Nancy Woller, Math Department Chair, Waterford School.

The full list of scholars can be viewed here: https://www.societyforscience.org/regeneron-sts/2021-scholars/

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with a national stage to present original research and celebrates the hard work and discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges. This year, research projects cover topics from bioinformatics to public health and energy efficiency.

The remarkable drive, creativity and intellectual curiosity that each one of these scholars possesses represents a hopeful outlook for our future and our collective wellbeing,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science, Publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alum. “At a time when many students’ educational experiences are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am incredibly humbled to see gifted young scientists and engineers eager to contribute fresh insights to solving the world’s most intractable problems.”

“An exceptional group of student leaders and innovators comprise this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars, with an array of projects that demonstrate the power of science,” said Hala Mirza, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron. “We are honored to celebrate the next generation of young scientists and inventors who can elevate the STEM community and our broader society through their high-quality research and novel discoveries. These are the inspiring problem solvers who will help address the current and future challenges facing our world.”

On January 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. From March 10-17 all 40 finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

2020 Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS

Sahil with his project
Sahil S. ’25 and his project

Society for Science & the Public and Broadcom Foundation also announced earlier this year that Sahil S., a Class VIII student at Waterford School, was among the top 300 competitors in the 2020 Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM competition for middle school students. Sahil’s project, which he completed during his Class VII year, was titled: Boosting the Brain. The top 300 competitors of this incredibly rigorous competition received a $125 cash prize and a prize package.

The Broadcom MASTERS seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st Century. The Top 300 MASTERS include more girls than boys, with 52% females and 47% males selected from 3,476 applicants. The students come from 34 states, plus Puerto Rico, with 88 from California, 37 from Florida and 24 from Texas. 167 students attend public schools, 90 from private schools, 23 from charter schools, 10 from magnet schools and 10 from home schools.

30 finalists will be chosen from this select pool to compete for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes.

 “I am honored to congratulate the top 300 Broadcom MASTERS during what is a very challenging time,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.  “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate these amazing young scientists, who are poised to solve the world’s most intractable challenges.”

The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS’ independent STEM research projects tackle a broad range of challenges such as:

  • Identifying a more ecofriendly way to do laundry
  • Exploring the impact of electromagnetic frequencies on E. coli
  • Determining if there is a correlation between being on a beta-blocker and the ability to taste
  • Testing concussion guards
  • Determining if the settings of a 3D print affects it’s strength
  • Impact of vaping on cellular function

“Every Middle School student who had the passion and fortitude to complete his or her science or engineering project with hardships imposed to schooling and research is a hero and heroine in our eyes, and the Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists exemplify their remarkable grit,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation. “They inspire us all and give us hope for the future.”

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