Nicasia Beebe-Wang, a senior attending Westhampton Beach High School, made history on Wednesday when she was named the district’s first Intel semifinalist.
“I was completely shocked,” said Nicasia, 17, of Westhampton, after learning that she was one of 53 high school seniors from across Long Island, and one of 103 in the state, to be named a semifinalist in the national Intel Science Talent Search. It is an honor shared by only 300 students across the nation.
“I just started yelling in excitement,” said Westhampton Beach High School Principal Chris Herr on Thursday morning. “We were just so thrilled.”
Nicasia, whose science project focuses on the brain and cocaine addiction, will receive a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation, with another $1,000 going to the Westhampton Beach School District. More than 1,700 students representing 190 high schools in 30 states entered the annual competition.
Forty of the 300 semifinalists will be named finalists on Wednesday, January 23. The finalists will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in early March where they will compete for $630,000 in awards provided by the Intel Foundation.
The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony to be held at the National Building Museum on March 12. The top winner will receive $100,000. Each finalist will go home with at least $7,500.