Greenwich Senior Anne Merrill Among Finalists For Prestigious Science Award

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Greenwich High School senior Anne Merrill has been named one of 40 finalists in a prestigious national science competition.
Greenwich High School senior Anne Merrill has been named one of 40 finalists in a prestigious national science competition. Photo Credit: Greenwich High School

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich High School senior Anne Merrill has been named one of 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search (STS) competition.

Intel (STS) is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Students are selected based upon their scientific research and on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community.

Intel STS chooses 300 semifinalists each year, and the 40 finalists are invited to Washington, D.C. to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for $630,000 in awards. The top award is $100,000.

Merrill’s project is the “Comparative Suppression of Soil-Borne Pathogens via Earthworm Bioturbation of Natural and Man-Made Biochars.”

The talent search encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop skills to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Entrants are judged on the originality and creativity of their scientific research projects, and their achievement and leadership inside and outside the classroom.

Biochars are a name for charcoal used for special purposes, such as soil amendment. Merrill used earthworms to carry biochars through soil to roots of tomato plants, and how it impacted E. coli and a common fungus that kills the plants.

Merrill is the only finalist from Connecticut. Three other Greenwich students, Travis Anderson, Friederike Buck and Zheni Gusho, advanced to the semifinals. All four were entered in the Honors Science Research program at Greenwich High School in 2011.

Merrill is also president of the Art Club at Greenwich. In May, she was selected as a finalist in the 2013 River of Words International Youth Creativity Contest. Her poem was published in the River of Words anthology.

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