Two Madison students in finals of prestigious Intel Science Talent Search

Doug Erickson:

Two Madison teenagers have landed among the 40 finalists in the country’s top science competition for high school students, a rare twofer for a public school district.
West senior Gabriela Farfan and Memorial senior Suvai Gunasekaran will compete next month in Washington, D.C., for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes in the Intel Science Talent Search.
“It’s impressive,” said John Kalvin, an Intel manager in Chicago, referring to the double finalists from one district. “It’s a testament to the kind of teaching taking place here — and the talent here.”
Farfan, 18, a mineral and gemstone collector, broke new ground in trying to determine why a type of feldspar known as Oregon sunstone appears red when viewed from one angle and green when viewed from another. Gunasekaran, 18, focused on developing new methods to inhibit bacterial biofilm growth on the surface of implanted medical devices.
Each student already has won $5,000 and a laptop computer as a finalist.