BANGOR – Bangor High School student Amara Ifeji has been chosen out of more than 1,500 students throughout the world for the Regeneron Science Talent Search of 2020.
“It’s regarded as the most prestigious science competition for high school seniors,” said Ifeji.
The 300 scholars and their schools will be awarded $2,000 each.
Out of 1,993 applications received from more than 650 high schools, Amara is the only student from Maine who received this recognition.
“When I looked at the results yesterday I was kinda like awestruck,” Ifeji said. “I did not expect to win in the slightest.”
“Amara is one of about 60 students here at Bangor High School and part of the STEM academy so I’ve had the privileged of working with her since freshman year,” said the Director of STEM Academy at Bangor High School, Barbara Stewart.
“Now to see that growth and development to get this honor is really a wonderful representation of the whole school,” she said.
The talent search provides students a national stage to present original research and the hard work of young scientists.
Amara Ifeji focused her research on the issue of heavy metal pollution in water.
“I am a self described water quality fanatic,” Ifeji said.
She said she first felt a spark for this topic at a research institute she attended during the summer.
Ifeji said she believes the state of Maine is underrepresented in terms of the schools and the programs it offers for students.
“I’m happy that I was able to, kind of, rewrite that narrative saying Maine is here. We have so many brilliant students here. We are contributing to scientific endeavors and all endeavors,” Ifeji said.
What comes next for her research? At the end of January she’ll learn if she has been chosen as one of the top 40 finalists to compete in Washington D.C.