Public Release: 

Students from Middle Atlantic states win science essay

American Chemical Society

High school students from Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are winners in the recent "Chemagination" contest, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The announcement was made at the 35th Middle Atlantic regional meeting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Students from this region submitted 22 articles in one of four categories, including biotechnology, medicine/healthcare, new materials, and transportation/environment. The articles were written as if they were to appear in an October 2025 issue of ChemMatters magazine, the Society's publication for high school chemistry students. They were asked "What breakthrough or innovation related to chemistry will improve the quality of a teenager's life in 2025?"

The winners, announced by the ACS, are:

In biotechnology, 10th grader Andrei Munteanu (son of Daniela Munteau) and 12th grader Iheanyi Umez-Eronini (son of Lynette and Eronini Umez-Eronini) of Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. -- with their submission entitled, "NanoDoc-2025." This new invention will shrink the doctor to a sub cellular level, a medical nanobot weighing less than 50 nanograms. The main component of NanoDoc-2025 is a hard, smooth spherical casing, which encloses the control center, as well as most medicinal drugs that are optionally added and dispensed daily to patients for a period of more than two years without recharging.

In medicine/healthcare, 10th graders Natalie Nicolas (son of Jeanne Nicolas), Shivani Patnaik (daughter of Sudip and Susmita Patnaik), and Abhik Saha (son of Anutosh and Tinku Saha) of Damascus High School in Md. -- with their article entitled, "A guilty pleasure no more - a healthy treat for us to eat - genetically modified chocolate." Cocoa Veggie is the chocolate replacement that is actually good for you. Packed with loads of vitamins and minerals, it can replace one of your five daily-recommended servings of vegetables; its nutritional value makes it a vegetable. Thanks to genetic engineering, scientists take specific genes that create or absorb nutrients and pull them from the DNA of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Once the seeds mature and are safe to eat, they are made into regular milk chocolate bars and candies.

In new materials, 10th graders Tyler Miller (son of John Rosene), Jordan O'Keefe (son of Bill and Theresa O'Keefe), and Phil True (son of Mike and Gail True) of Mechanicsburg Senior High School in Pa. -- with their article entitled, "The new digisniff machine." This new device allows you to smell what you see instead of just watching it. The "digisniff" machine works similarly to a sound card in a computer; however, it makes scents rather than sounds. The site gives the machine information about the esters that are needed to produce the desired smell. Within 10 to 15 seconds the esters are created and they give off the desired scent.

In transportation/environment, 10th graders Tyler Sickles (son of Fred and Pat Sickles) and Pat Simpson (son of George and Cathy Simpson) of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va. -- with their article entitled, "Fuel cells: the new power." A totally self-sufficient car is available for consumers. The "shasta" runs on an alkali fuel cell, which means that hydrogen gas is the only needed fuel. The fuel cell is similar to a battery, except that it does not run down or require recharging. You must add two liters of water to the tank every six months to keep it running.

Articles in the Society's popular "Chemagination" contest were limited to 1000 words, and submissions included drawings, diagrams, illustrations, chemical descriptions and technology considerations. Winning team members shared a $300 U.S. Savings Bond in each category. Entries were solicited from students in conjunction with the Society's Middle Atlantic regional meeting, May 28-30.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos are available of the student winners and may be obtained by contacting Sharon Worthy at or by calling 202-872-4371.

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