MIAMI (AP) – Florida International University is offering a 14-year-old high school student a full scholarship.
University officials said it’s unusual to award scholarships to freshmen, but that the staff was impressed by Rebecca Rauch-Thane's science fair project, which tested for heavy metal soil contamination in Virginia Key and Key Biscayne.
She tested coconut water for pollutants that may have entered through the root systems. Her project showed concerning levels of contamination, and her methods provided a low-cost alternative to more expensive environmental studies.
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The Miami Beach Senior High School student also won an award from the U.S. Air Force for Outstanding Science or Engineering Fair Project after she built a prototype of a small radio receiver unit to assist first responders and victims in natural disasters after a devastating typhoon in the Philippines last year.