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Release: April 30, 2002

Iowa high school student wins national science symposium

Hailyn Nielsen of Central Academy and Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines won first place at the 40th National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) April 27 in San Diego, Calif. In addition to receiving a $16,000 scholarship, she will travel this summer to the prestigious London International Youth Science Forum where she will be one of eight students to represent the United States in a scientific and cultural exchange program composed of some 400 students from more than 70 countries.

In February she won a $4,000 scholarship for her first place finish in the Iowa JSHS. Nielsen's research is titled "Isolation and Identification of Non-Dinitrophenal Degrading Mutants of Rhodococcus opacus sp RB1." Lacy Daniels, UI professor of microbiology, served as Nielsen's mentor as a part of the Secondary Student Training Program research participation during summer 2001.

Three other Iowa students accompanied Nielsen to the National JSHS and received $750 scholarships to the University of Iowa. They are: Rachael Collier, Mediapolis High School, Burlington; Arielle Hardre, West Liberty High School, Nichols; Sara Weirather, Central Lee High School, Montrose; and Nielsen's teacher and sponsor, Susan Stroope, also accompanied Nielsen to the National JSHS. First place runner-up, Hee Won Lee, West High School, Iowa City, was unable to attend this symposium.

The JSHS competition annually includes more than 10,000 high school students and is sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. It is administered by the Academy of Applied Science, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Concord, N.H.