Source: The Independent

Westhampton Beach Student Named Intel Semi-Finalist

by Emily Toy

January 16, 2013

Westhampton Beach High School senior Nicasia Beebe-Wang was named a semi-finalist in the national Intel Science Talent Search last Wednesday, making her the first student ever to do so in the school district.

“I feel great,” Beebe-Wang said. “It’s very exciting for me and very exciting for the school.”

More than 1700 students from 30 states entered the annual competition, one of the most prestigious pre-college science competitions in the country. The 17-year-old joins 52 high school seniors across Long Island and 102 in New York bestowed with the honor that includes 300 students nationally.

Forty of those 300 semi-finalists will be named finalists on January 23.

Beebe-Wang’s science project focuses on cocaine addiction and how it affects the brain, with specific respect to dopamine levels in cocaine addicts, she said. She will receive $1000 from the Intel Foundation. Westhampton Beach School District will also receive $1000.

“This is an unbelievable accomplishment,” said Westhampton Beach High School Principal Chris Herr. “We couldn’t be prouder of her and this is truly a testament to things done here at the school.”

All finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C., in early March where they will compete for prize money from Intel. Winners of the talent search will be announced on March 12 at a black tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum, with the top prize being $100,000 and at least $7500 awarded to each of the other finalists.

“She’s very excited,” Herr said of Beebe-Wang. “This is a culmination of two years of work. She’s been in the research program since she came here. It’s absolutely tremendous.”