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Wisconsin Science Talent Search
Announces 2004 Winner


 MAILED:  May 26, 2004

EAU CLAIRE - Stacy Sommerfeld, Burlington, was named the first place winner of this year's Wisconsin Science Talent Search, a science competition for high school seniors. A panel of professors at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire judged the entries on originality, scientific significance, independence, complexity of techniques, individual scientific comprehension, science potential, data analysis and writing skills. Winners receive a gift certificate for Border's Books and Music and a certificate of participation.

Sommerfeld attends Burlington High School. Her project, "The Development of an All-Natural Lip Balm," involved researching the chemistry behind the making of lip balms and solid perfumes using all-natural ingredients. She researched the composition and stability of different oils and waxes and the different ratios of ingredients needed to make a viable product. Part of her experimentation included determining the melting points (an important characteristic of lip balm) of the different batches of product.

Sommerfeld also researched business aspects of the project, doing marketing research and cost analysis calculations and creating attractive labels for her new products. She is now looking into adding an all-natural colorant and hopes to continue to pursue both her education and her small business aspirations at either The University of Iowa or the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her high school science teacher at Burlington is David Kreutz.

Each year Wisconsin Science Talent Search participants also compete nationally in the Intel Science Talent Search, administered by Science Service, and this was the 63rd year of competition. Stacy's project was evaluated along with 1,652 entries that represented over 500 high schools in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and two overseas schools. Each of the schools that placed at least one of the 300 semifinalists in the competition was awarded $1,000 per semifinalist to be used in support of the school's science and math education programs. Intel also awards $530,000 in scholarships to the top 40 finalists during a week-long Science Talent Institute Competition in Washington, D.C.

The Intel Science Talent Search competition is America's oldest and most highly regarded science contest for high school seniors. The application deadline for next year's competition is in late November. More information can be found on the Web.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: May 26, 2004