On March 11 and 12, eight students from Darien High School took part in the 49th annual Connecticut Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. The JSHS recognizes high school students with outstanding potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students must be nominated by their teachers to attend.

This year's delegates from Darien were juniors Alexandra Aparicio, Emily Greene, Reed Morgan and Lila Sullivan, and seniors Brooke Davis, William De Rocco, Amanda Sommi, and Abby Leinroth. They are among a select group of about 200 of the state's top young scientists, many of whom will present their own original research at the symposium and compete for prizes.

The winner received a scholarship to the University of Connecticut worth one half of tuition for four years.

The top three received college scholarships worth $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

One outstanding teacher participating in the regional symposium won $500.

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The schools of the top five oral presenters each received $500 and their student received $250.

Local organizations such as the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, the Connecticut Science Teachers Association, the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association and the Talcott Mountain Science Center provided a variety of cash awards to participants.

Five of the top finishers earned an expenses-paid trip to the 50th National JSHS in Bethesda, Md., in May. The top two in the region will have a chance to present their research at the national symposium and vie for a $12,000 scholarship and a trip to the International Youth Science Fortnight in Great Britain with 400 students from 60 countries.

Whether they won prizes or not, all the young people who took part in the Connecticut JSHS were able to meet science role models Shawn Soutiere, a medical researcher with the U.S. Navy, and UConn's own Eric Knight, futurist, inventor, and president of Remarkable Technologies. Knight's invention, Up Aerospace, provides space flights for the general public and private industry.

JSHS' young participants also toured the university's research labs, observed science demonstrations and took part in team rocket building and launching.

JSHS was organized by the Academy of Applied Sciences with the sponsorship of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

About 10,000 secondary students nationwide participate through 48 university-based regional symposia.

Contact state JSHS Director Joy Erickson at 860-486-8115 or visit www.jshs.org.