A Bangor High School senior won $150,000 and a first place Medal of Distinction for Global Good in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, a national competition.

Paige Brown, 17, was one of three first-place winners in three categories: basic research, global good and innovation. The 2016 winners were announced at a ceremony Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Brown presented a study on the water quality of Bangor-area streams with high E. coli and phosphate levels. She is working on developing a cost-effective filter to remove phosphate from stormwater systems. She did the work as part of the Bangor High School STEM Academy under the direction of Science and Technology Department Chair Cary James, school officials said.

Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler said Brown was still in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as part of the Science Talent Search event and wasn’t available for comment.

“We are so proud of her accomplishment and can’t wait to speak to her,” Butler said. “Many kids and faculty members are eager to congratulate her in person.”

Demetri Maxim, a student at Gould Academy in Bethel, was one of 40 finalists, and won $7,500. Maxim developed a process for growing kidney cells from human pluripotent stem cells, which he hopes will one day eliminate the need for donor kidneys for transplantation. His project previously was named the best in the cellular and molecular biology category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh in May.

The other first-place winners were Amol Punjabi, 17, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, for basic research, and Maya Varma, 17, of Cupertino, California, for innovation.

“The society congratulates Amol, Paige and Maya,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and an alumna of the Science Talent Search. “They and the rest of the top winners of Intel STS 2016 are using science and technology to help address the problems they see in the world and will be at the forefront of creating the solutions we need for the future. We applaud their curiosity and dedication, and look forward to celebrating stellar young scientists for 75 more years.”

Brown is co-captain of the math team and secretary of the Key Club at Bangor High School, and helps organize fundraisers for her school and community.

She has been offered admission to several universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Yale University. As a junior, she was awarded a full scholarship to attend Drexel University based on the quality of her science research.

Society officials said 1,750 high school seniors applied for the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 300 were selected as semi-finalists and 40 finalists were invited to present their original research to a panel of judges in March.

In addition to the first-place winners, second- and third-place winners in each category received $75,000 and $35,000, respectively. The remaining finalists received $7,500. More than $1 million was awarded.


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