Student wins 2nd in major science competition

March 17, 2011 2:49:23 PM PDT
High school student Michelle Hackman is enjoying a hero's welcome at her Great Neck North High School.

"Am I a rock star?" seventeen-year-old Hackman said. "I'm starting to feel like one, although I'm not sure that I really deserve it."

In the most prestigious high school competition in the whole country, Michelle Hackman placed number two and she has many admirers that are very excited about this.

Michelle just returned home from a whirlwind trip to Washington, where she won the second place award in the renowned Intel Science Talent Search.

Hackman beat out two thousand other teens to win her prize, which was a 75-thousand dollar scholarship.

The forty finalists had the chance to meet President Obama, and Hackman showed off her science experiment that won her the big prize. Hackman's experiment was on cell phone addiction among teens.

The outcome of her experiment is that cell phones affect the brain the same way that drugs do.

"You are experiencing a high level of stimulation, like a sudden squirt of dopamine that disappears when you lose access to your phone." Hackman said.

"You are experiencing withdrawals and almost going through cravings"

For her research, Hackman studied her classmates and feels her findings could have interesting ramifications in the science of psychology.

One of the aspects that make Michelle Hackman's victory even more impressive is she is blind. She lost her sight when she was eight years old. Hackman hopes to use her blindness to serve as a role model for others like her.

"I'd hope that more blind students find a passion other than their own blindness to really concentrate on, and excel at." Hackman said.

After Michelle Hackman graduates, she will be attending Yale University, where she hopes to continue her research and eventually pursue a career in psychology.

After this top national honor, it seems Hackman's options are limitless.

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