AHS Success in the Regeneron Science Talent Search


Breeanna Pham, Staff Writer

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) is a pre-college science and mathematics competition in which high school seniors may enter for the chance to earn a prize of $2,000, with another $2,000 for their school to use for STEM-related activities. The top 40 Finalists have the capability to win $25,000 and partake in the final March competition, and the scholar with the top prize is granted $250,000.

The Regeneron STS is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious mathematics and science competition, and began in 1942. Every year, 1,900 students enter the competition, conducting their own unique research project. The goal of Regeneron STS is to find promising, engaging, and inspiring scientists among the nation’s high school seniors. In this year’s 82nd contest, Arcadia High School (AHS) teacher Mrs. Cherryl Mynster was recognized as a Teacher of Merit within the program.

As a Teacher of Merit, Mrs. Mynster’s role within the competition is to “support, review, and recommend students’ projects for the Regeneron Competition.”

Additionally, through their amazing research projects, two of AHS’ students, seniors Cindy Lu and Ian Peng made the top 300 cohort out of 1,949 students across the country who entered.

Lu explained that she did her research paper on “the possible aberrant human gut microbiome in COVID-19 patients, which may be an important factor in long COVID development and disease severity.”

In her project, she utilized meta-analysis to merge the findings of independent research papers, and statistical methods to find the absolute effect of the data. From her findings, she found that if the health promoting bacteria is regrown, there is the possibility for various therapies someone can go through to alleviate the long term COVID symptoms.

Similarly to Lu, Peng constructed a way to help cure COVID facilitated through elevated temperatures, where lasers attach to the COVID virus and destroy it. His goal in pursuing this project was to not only assist in detecting a new way to destroy the virus, but to also introduce a new cure for viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2.

“The ACE2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) functionalized PTA (photothermal absorbents) particles I created, which have a dual function, virus decoy and destruction, presents a unique and highly effective approach to tackling the dangers posed by widespread infection of COVID-19 variants, as well as other contagious diseases which involve rapidly mutating viral species,” said Peng.

The Regeneron STS is a program that can impact the lives of many seniors. For students who are looking into STEM majors, the lessons learned from this program are invaluable—from the ability to experience the process of writing a research paper, to gaining a different perspective on your passion project. 

Congratulations to Mrs. Mynster, Cindy Lu, and Ian Peng on their success in the Regeneron STS!



Photo courtesy of Arcadia Unified