The Gatton Academy's News Archive
Jason Zhang Named 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar
- Cheryl Kirby-Stokes
- Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky student Jason Zhang (’21, Bowling Green HS) has been named a 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar.
“It is a great honor to be named as a 2021 Regeneron STS scholar,” Zhang stated. “From this competition, I gained valuable research skills, from reading what other scientists have done in my field, designing experiments to test a hypothesis, collecting data, and interpreting those data to support or reject my hypothesis. I will use the research skills I have learned from my research with WKU Department of Chemistry’s Dr. Yongming Deng as I continue pursuing research opportunities in college.”
Zhang’s research, "The Photocatalytic Single-Electron Oxidative Cyclopropanation of Ene-Ynamides with 2,6-Lutidine N-Oxide: Synthesis of Bicyclic Amides," was mentored by Dr. Yongming Deng. Zhang explains that within the last 15 years, chemists have discovered an efficient way of using visible light like sunlight to provide the necessary energy to create new important compounds. In addition, the chemical reaction presented in his research synthesizes important biomolecules in a more sustainable way because it did not use toxic metals or polluting reagents like previous research methods.
Zhang was one of 300 seniors in the nation to earn this recognition. The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,760 applicants. The scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists.
“Jason Zhang is a remarkable researcher and student who has demonstrated great persistence in this process. His recognition as a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar is a wonderful acknowledgement of his hard work and academic dedication,” stated Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy. “Beyond his academic accomplishments, Jason is an outstanding member of the Gatton community.”
“As the most prestigious STEM competition for high school students, The Gatton Academy is positively thrilled by Jason’s selection,” stated Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, Academic Opportunities Coordinator at The Gatton Academy. “Even with his mentor’s lab shutting down due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jason found a way to pursue and complete his research. As persistent and motivated as he is, there is no doubt in my mind that Jason will be successful at whatever goal he sets for himself.”
The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with a national stage to present original research and celebrates the hard work and discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges. Student entrants submit original research in critically important scientific fields of study and are judged by leading experts in their fields. Unique among high school competitions in the U.S. and around the world, the Regeneron Science Talent Search focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the nation’s most promising young scientists who are creating the ideas that could solve society’s most urgent challenges.
On January 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. In March, the 40 finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.
Program alumni include recipients of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes, 11 National Medals of Science, six Breakthrough Prizes, 21 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and two Fields Medals.
About Society for Science: Society for Science is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at www.societyforscience.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students for ten consecutive appearances.