Lab Schools senior finalist in Westinghouse search
Ming Tam, a senior at University High School, has been named one of 40 finalists in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. The honor is based on a physical chemistry project Tam conducted while working in the laboratory of Stuart Rice, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry.
Tam was chosen from among 300 high school seniors who were semifinalists in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, the nation's oldest science scholarship competition. The finalists will compete for $205,000 in scholarships that will be awarded as part of a six-day Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C., in March.
For her project, Tam used a digital video microscope to examine the structures of several colloidal suspensions, mixtures in which large particles of one substance are stably dispersed in another material comprised of smaller particles. She said that her findings on the ordered structure of these suspensions will lead to a better understanding of colloidal systems, which are central to the manufacturing of such products as paint, food and pharmaceuticals.
At University High School, Ming has been a member of the track, volleyball and math teams and of the Asian Students Association. An accomplished musician, she has studied the violin since age 4 and has played with the DuPage Youth Symphony since 1989. She also has been a tutor for sixth-grade students and was a peer leader for the Laboratory Schools community learning program.