Barron Lab helps high schooler earn top science prize

Barron Lab helps high schooler earn top science prize


A Missouri City high school student’s carbon nanotube project, developed with the help of Rice University scientists, has qualified her to compete in an international competition.

Neerja Aggarwal, a junior at Hightower High School, interned for a year in the lab of Andrew Barron, Rice’s Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and a professor of materials science, where she studied the structure and synthesis of multiwalled carbon nanotubes.

Her project took first place in Senior Division Chemistry and earned six special awards in the 52nd Science and Engineering Fair of Houston held April 7-9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. She also won the Senior Physical Sciences Grand Award, which qualifyed her for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Los Angeles in May. Aggarwal’s entry was one of more than 1,000 at the event.

Aggarwal continues to spend her after-school hours at Rice, where she’s co-authoring a paper on the educational benefits of her research with mentor Alvin Orbaek, a graduate student in the Barron lab.

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