Songtao (Barton) Li, a senior at PRISMS, has been awarded the Gold Prize in Chemistry at the finals of the 2019 Shing-Tung Yau High School Science Awards, a global science fair sponsored by Harvard University mathematics professor Shing-Tung Yau. After winning the Gold Prize in Chemistry at the USA Regional Competition at University of California, Los Angles, Barton secured the only Gold Prize in Chemistry with two rounds of oral defense at the global finals at Tsinghua University.
There are more than 5800 teams from 1200 schools taking part in the regional competition. The competition areas include 28 provinces in China, as well as many oversea areas, such as North America and Singapore. After the careful reviews from more than 200 scientists in the world, there are totally 306 students from 169 teams receiving the awards.
At the Global Finals of 2019, a total of 176 students from 90 teams competed for 62 awards. For each of the 6 categories, including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economic and Financial Modeling, Mathematics, and Physics, one Gold Prize was awarded, and one Interdisciplinary Gold Prize was selected among the Gold Prize Winners. Barton’s oral defense of his research Green Synthesis of Titanium Dioxide/Polymer Nanocomposites with Enhanced Catalytic Activity won the only Gold Prize in Chemistry
"For most of us aspiring to a future education and career in science and research, the Yau’s award is a very precious and unique competition. It's a huge honor of mine to have the opportunity to present my research in front of world-renowned scientists and have this glimpse of experience of how research works in real life, from literature research to oral defense. It was a great experience, but it could not have happened without Dr. Chen and all lab members at PRISMS, and I am so excited for embarking on the journey to pursue more research in college." said Barton.
In his 4 years at PRISMS, Barton has fully engaged himself in chemistry research. He has published a first-authored research paper in Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, an Elsevier-owned peer-reviewed journal (DOI: 10.1016/j.jpcs.2019.01.002), won the First Place in Chemistry in 2019 Mercer Science and Engineering Fair. He also did a poster presentation in Nano & Environmental Chemistry Symposium of 2019 ACS Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting in Baltimore and an oral presentation at the 2019 Material Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston. Barton is going to give another poster presentation at the ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting in Philadelphia in March.
Founded in 2008 by the master mathematician Prof. Shing-Tung Yau, the S.-T. Yau High School Science Award inspires scientific innovations and is designed for high school students all over the world. Advocating innovative thinking and collaborative spirits, the Award gives students the opportunity to participate by submitting academic papers. The Award aims at promoting the development of science education in high schools, stimulating students’ research interests and innovative capabilities, as well as discovering and cultivating young talents in scientific disciplines.
More information about the S. T. Yau’s High School Science Awards: http://www.yau-science-awards.org/index.html