High School Scientists of Tomorrow Compete for a Major Prize

If you get him going, Matan Harel, a 17-year-old senior at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, will talk your ear off about little blobs with tails. His obsession with the topic may explain why he was among the 40 students from 14 states and the District of Columbia announced yesterday as finalists for the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, which presents an award often called the junior Nobel Prize. The finalists, who each received $5,000 and a laptop computer, will travel to Washington from March 11 to 16 to compete for $530,000 in scholarships. New York State, with 18 finalists, did especially well in the competition again. One third, or 850, of the total number of finalists in the competition's history have been from the state. ''This is certainly a testimony to the excellence of science education in New York and to the dedication of New York teachers and administrators,'' said Wendy Hawkins, director of education for Intel, in a statement of congratulations.

By IAN URBINA

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