Zoe Gotthold, a Richland High School senior, has earned herself a top science honor and $2,000 for herself and her school thanks to research she’s conducted since seventh-grade.
Zoe is just one of three students in the state of Washington named to this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition, organized by the Society for Science & the Public, recognizes 300 student-scholars from across the United States for research skills, academic excellence, innovative thinking and potential as scientists.
The Society will announce on Jan. 22 whether Zoe will continue in the competition as a Finalist. If selected, she and 39 other students will earn an additional $25,000 and travel to Washington D.C. in March to meet leading scientists and national leaders, display their research compete for a $250,000 grand prize.
Zoe has won several awards for her research on techniques for the treatment of oil spills. She was driven to find a solution to help protect penguins from the man-made disasters and is currently working on a prototype application from her theories that could demonstrate a proof of concept.
“It’s been fun seeing how I’ve gotten real science out of that initial curiosity,” she says.
Zoe will walk at graduation this June and has been accepted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Fall 2020 term.