Born to Science
A majority of high school students occupying the stratosphere of America's science and math competitions are the children of immigrants. Among them is June-Ho Kim.
On an overcast Sunday afternoon last month, a crowd of teenagers and their families file through the front gates of Great America theme park, located along a boulevard in the polished suburban circuitry of Silicon Valley. Some of the visitors halt, then press forward past souvenir stands and spiraling roller coasters, unsure where to go next. Emerging briskly from this migration of bodies onto the steps of the park auditorium, flanked by his mother and father, is a smartly dressed though otherwise inconspicuous young man named June-Ho Kim.
Kim and others have come for a ceremony hosted by the software-design company Synopsys Inc. to honor students’ science and technology projects from the Santa Clara County region. Awards are handed out by science discipline and professional sponsor, from societies of vitro biologists and vacuum makers, associations of animal scientists and clinical chemists, air-conditioning engineers, food technologists, solid-waste managers, even the U.S. Navy.
These student projects go far beyond the test-tube-and-rubber-stopper variety. “Got Isoniazid?” is one entry’s title. “Moringa Oleifera:...
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