South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) senior Jack Runge, son of Charles & Luanne Runge of Greenville, is one of 300 U.S. high school students, and the only student from South Carolina, to be named a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search 2015.
To apply for the Intel Science Talent Search, Runge was required to submit a variety of information, including his transcript, test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations from various teachers, and several extensive essays, as well as a research paper outlining the methods and results of his research.
The research on which Runge based his paper was conducted during GSSM’s six-week, mentored, research program, the Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI). All GSSM students are required to conduct scientific or business research in a university or corporate R&D lab, under the direction of a mentor, during the summer between their junior and senior years.
With support from his mentor Dr. Mohammed Baalousha, assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at the University of South Carolina, Runge submitted his SPRI research, "Heteroaggregation of citrate-coated silver nanoparticles with polystyrene and silica particles," to the competition last fall.
“Going in [to the SPRI research experience], I expected to see scientists working alone in their corners of the lab, mixing chemicals, analyzing products and creating explosions,” said Runge. “However, I quickly discovered that research is a team effort by a group of people with varying talents. I loved the atmosphere of teamwork, and I was proud of my work, collecting small amounts of data that fit into a much bigger picture. I worked hard to collect enough data points to determine the stability of my silver nanoparticles in different solutions. I am fortunate that the people at Intel recognized my hard work.”
Only 300 students out of the nearly 1,800 that submitted were selected to be semifinalists. Of the 300 semifinalists, 40 students will be named finalists and will be invited to Washington, D.C., for the final competition. The finalists will be announced at noon on January 21, 2015. The winner will be announced on March 10, 2015.
Pictured: Top – Jack Runge at USC during SPRI. Bottom – Dr. Mohammed Baalousha, assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at the University of South Carolina, with Jack Runge in front of his research poster.