Linwood teen named semifinalist in national science competition

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Holy Spirit High School senior Michelle Moffa of Linwood has been named a semifinalist in a in national science talent search competition./Submitted Holy Spirit High School senior Michelle Moffa of Linwood has been named a semifinalist in a in national science talent search competition./Submitted ABSECON  Holy Spirit High School senior Michelle Moffa of Linwood has been named a semifinalist in a in national science talent search competition.

Moffa’s project was one of 300 chosen as semifinalists in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search Competition. Students submitted 1,794 projects in the competition.

The 14 Intel Science Talent Search Competition is open to high school seniors and is one of the nation's most prestigious precollege science competitions, according to a news release. At stake is a $100,000 grand prize.

Winners are chosen based on their research report in addition to factors that include a display of exceptional research skills, a commitment to academics and their communities, innovative thinking, and promise as a scientist.

Moffa had to complete a rigorous application process that was comprised of the research report, standardized test scores, transcripts, recommendations, past and present research experience, extracurricular activities, and a number of essays.

Motta submitted engineering research she conducted her junior year, which was a culmination of three years of work.

Her project is "A Point-of-use Water Filter for Developing Countries - Year III: Improving Effectiveness, Practicality, and Sustainability of Arsenic-Removing Biosand Filters."

Moffa receives $1,000 as a semifinalist, and $1,000 will also be awarded to Holy Spirit to further math, science and engineering education.

Moffa is competing to be named one of 40 finalists. 

In addition to years of extensive community service, Moffa is also a flutist, and has been named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. Finalists are to be announced at the end of February. 

Moffa has already gained much experice in national competitions.

In October 2013, Moffa was named a semifinalist in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. There were 1,599 projects submitted and 300 of them were chosen as semifinalists in search of a $100,000 grand prize.

This is a national competition for high school seniors based solely on the research report submitted, and the grand prize was $100,000. 

For the Siemens Competition, Moffa submitted the research she had completed at the Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University - a chemistry project, entitled "Fabrication and Modification of Cellulose Nanofibers for Use on Antifouling Water Purification Membranes."

Moffa developed a novel, inexpensive, and environmentally safe method of fabricating cellulose nanofibers that can be used for water purification membranes and other applications.

Moffa was listed in USA Today with the other semifinalists.


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