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SECRETARY OF ENERGY PRAISES WESTINGHOUSE TALENT WINNER

 SECRETARY OF ENERGY PRAISES WESTINGHOUSE TALENT WINNER
 WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Energy Adm. James


D. Watkins today offered his congratulations to 16-year-old Kurt Thorn of Wading River, N.Y., for winning the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search.
 Thorn studied water pollution, and conducted his competition-winning research at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.
 "We at the Department of Energy are proud of Kurt, and are delighted to have been part of such an important project," Watkins stated. "One of the missions of the National Laboratories is to provide opportunities for students to participate in real cutting-edge science in state-of- the-art laboratories." He added, "We are especially pleased that Kurt's work will have environmental applications, and I hope that he continues to pursue such important topics in the future."
 In January 1991, Thorn began working after school with Brookhaven geochemist Mark Rivers. He began working on the NSLS in August, and worked at the lab almost full-time throughout the summer. Thorn continues to work there after school twice a week. His project on "Elemental Distributions in Marine Bivalves as Measured by Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence" studied pollution in clams located at nearby Moriches Bay on the south shore of Long Island.
 Thorn's project on the NSLS is not the only time he has participated in Brookhaven's educational activities. Last year, Thorn was a member of the Brookhaven team that placed second in the National Science Bowl in Washington. This year Thorn will have another shot at winning, when he and his teammates face off against 29 other teams in the 1992 National Science Bowl April 24-27. The National Science Bowl is an academic competition that pits high school teams against each other to answer questions in mathematics and science. This year, 12,000 students from 2,000 high schools will participate in regional eliminations, with only the top 30 making it to the national finals.
 In May 1990, Watkins issued a notice that vastly expanded the department's
education mission. In 1991, more than 1 million students and teachers from every one of the 50 states participated in over 800 DOE-funded programs that support America 2000, President Bush's national education strategy. The department's FY '93 budget request includes more than $114 million for education programs.
 Last year, almost 27,000 students, teachers and parents participated in Brookhaven's education programs and tours. In addition to the many formal programs that are run through Brookhaven's Office of Educational Programs, several schools near the lab have a close, informal relationship with scientists at Brookhaven. Shoreham-Wading River High School, where Thorn is currently a senior, has arranged for a number of students in the past to work at Brookhaven in various fields.
 Brookhaven was the first DOE laboratory to institute educational programs, beginning in 1948. Several education programs introduced at Brookhaven have subsequently been replicated throughout the country at the DOE laboratories and facilities. In 1952, Brookhaven initiated a summer student research program that is similar to DOE's current undergraduate summer research programs. Since 1958, Brookhaven has supported programs for pre-college teachers to improve their science and teaching skills through classes and workshops at the lab.
 Watkins concluded, "Kurt's success is only one example of what can result when bright, motivated students are given the opportunities and resources they need to pursue their intellectual curiosity. The federal government has these resources, provides these opportunities, and is committed to making American students first in the world in mathematics and science."
 -0- 3/10/92 R
 /CONTACT: Steven E. Fried of the U.S. Department of Energy, 202-586-5806/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia, New York IN: SU: EXE


GK -- NY079R -- 7201 03/11/92 09:11 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1992
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