Union Tribune

April 17, 2007

National science contest pays off for student, 18

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON: Local high school senior Sarah Silverstein won a $20,000 scholarship yesterday in the nation's capital after finishing in the top six of a national science competition.

It “was kind of a shock – a really nice one,” she said shortly after winning the award for research on stress faced by dental school students. Silverstein, 18, attends Patrick Henry High School in San Diego.

Her paper was among 717 submitted in the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition.

A periodontist's daughter who plans to go to dental school, Silverstein finished in the top six after undergoing intensive questioning about her paper from two panels of epidemiologist judges over the weekend.

Silverstein's research showed that not only do dental students experience stress, but that it worsenes during training and has a detrimental effect on their academic performance and health.

Diane Tsukamaki, director of national recognition and scholarship programs for the College Board, which administers the contest, called Silverstein's achievement “just phenomenal.”