New Trier student named semi-finalist in national science competition


A New Trier student has been named a semi-finalist in the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition, earning him and the high school each $2,000 in recognition of his research into nanotechnology.

Senior Jason Yang entered The Regeneron Science Talent Search following a research internship at Northwestern University in the summer of 2016. While interning, he read about nanowrinkle formation and "was amazed by the ability to create tiny, nanoscale surface textures across large areas," Yang said.

The concept, heavy to most, was intriguing for Yang - so much that he immediately began a research project in the nanotechnology field for his internship project.

"I knew I wanted to explore the subject because I thought the topic could combine my interest in chemistry with that in materials engineering," said Yang, of Wilmette. "My summer research was certainly the most difficult project I've undertaken. When I began, I was incredibly excited to be discovering answers for myself in a university lab."

After Yang completed his project, his parents encouraged him to apply for the national competition open to high school seniors. He was named one of 300 semi-finalists out of nearly 1,700 applicants.

"I was so excited to find out I was a semi-finalist," Yang said. "My mom texted me, and I was so surprised."

Although Yang's project was not selected as a finalist, he still took home $2,000 that he plans to put toward college. New Trier was also awarded $2,000, which the science and math departments will split.

Alumni of The Regeneron Science Talent Search have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and National Medal of Science. Annually, students entering the competition compete for more than $3.1 million in awards.