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Lucent Honors Minority High School Students in New Jersey and New York for Science Research Projects.

Business/Education Editors


Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) today honored seven high school students who completed science research projects under the guidance of scientists from Bell Labs, Lucent's research and development arm. The students participated in this year's Bell Labs Science Grant Program, which awarded grants to 38 African-American, Hispanic, and Native-American high school students in New Jersey and New York.

The prizes were:

-- The first prize went to Latoy Smith of Plainfield High

School, Plainfield, N.J., for her research into bacterial

growth at different temperatures.

-- The second prize was shared by Ingrid Rabus of Port

Richmond High School in New York City, who investigated

the effect of a hormone on plant growth, and Carlene Young

of Plainfield High School, who questioned the validity of


-- The third prize was shared by four students from Benjamin

Cardozo High School, Bayside, N.Y., for individual

projects: Hugo Guerrero studied the effects of water

pollution on organisms at a nearby lake; Alaina Sheppard

studied the marsh ecosystem of Long Island Sound; Kelly

Silvera studied polymerase chain reactions that replicated

DNA; and Andre Plair studied how ultraviolet radiation

affects the activity of an enzyme.

At today's ceremony, Bell Labs representatives presented the students with cash awards of up to $1,000.

Two outstanding high school science teachers, Jeremy Stanton of McNair Academic High School, Jersey City, N.J., and Anna Daily of Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy, N.J., also received awards of $500 each.

"Lucent is totally committed to science education," said Jeffrey Jaffe, vice president of Bell Labs' Advanced Technologies organization, who spoke at the award ceremony. "Pursuing science and technology is about the excitement of discovery. It's also about the personal fulfillment of helping change -- actually improve -- the world in which people live."

Other speakers at the award ceremony included Karen Onyeije, legal advisor to the Federal Communications Commission, and Andrew Appel, professor of computer science at Princeton University.

"If we want to encourage real participation of underrepresented groups in the new economy, which is based on technology, then there must be grassroots programs of this sort reaching kids at a relatively early age," said Art Ramirez of Bell Labs' condensed matter physics research department, who is co-chairman of the Bell Labs Science Grant Program. "This program reaches out to students who might not have the resources -- monetary of course, but more importantly, mentoring -- to pursue a science project."

Now in its 12th year, the Bell Labs Science Grant Program is funded in part by the Lucent Foundation. It has drawn an enthusiastic response from the students, teachers and Bell Labs mentors involved. The Bell Labs scientists interacted regularly with the students, and students and teachers visited Bell Labs to meet their mentors.

"We began this program because minorities are underrepresented in technical fields," said Kenneth Cowles, the program coordinator. "Our mission is to further encourage minority students to pursue technical careers, and also to strengthen the overall science programs in high schools in our area. This program works to meet both of these objectives by providing students with valuable mentoring by Lucent professionals from the R&D community and by directly supporting the procurement of vital scientific equipment to carry out student projects."

Projects undertaken by the students included topics in physics, electrical engineering, materials science, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, biology, and other sciences and engineering fields. The grants of up to $1,000 were used for equipment and materials. Equipment purchased for a student's research becomes the property of the student's school after the completion of the project.

"Our goal is to help students experience science in way that will forever change their perception of the world," said Jorge Valdes, director of chemical engineering research at Bell Labs and the program's co-chairman.

Bell Labs is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. One of the most innovative R&D entities in the world, Bell Labs has generated more than 40,000 inventions since 1925. It has played a pivotal role in inventing or perfecting key communications technologies for most of the 20th century, including transistors, digital networking and signal processing, lasers and fiber-optic communications systems, communications satellites, cellular telephony, electronic switching of calls, touch-tone dialing, and modems.

Today, Bell Labs continues to draw some of the best scientific minds. With more than 30,000 employees located in 25 countries, it is the largest R&D organization in the world dedicated to communications and the world's leading source of new communications technologies. In a recent report, Technology Review magazine said Bell Labs patents had the greatest impact on telecommunications for 1999.

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., U.S.A., designs and delivers the systems, software, silicon and services for next-generation communications networks for service providers and enterprises. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent focuses on high-growth areas such as optical and wireless networks; Internet infrastructure; communications software; communications semiconductors and optoelectronics; Web-based enterprise solutions that link private and public networks; and professional network design and consulting services. For more information on Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs, visit the company's Web site at or the Bell Labs Web site at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 30, 2000
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