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Festooned with colorful balloons and a $1,000 check, an Intel Prize Patrol surprised Los Alamos High School senior Ben Dozier in his classroom this morning. Dozier is a semifinalist in the 2008 Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) contest, which is considered the oldest and most prestigious high school science competition in the nation. “We’re very excited we have a semifinalist in New Mexico,” said Intel Corporate Affairs Manager Jami Grindatto. “It doesn’t happen every year. Ben exemplifies the research culture we have here in New Mexico.”The national competition helps find that exceptional talent in students who’ve done well in math, science and engineering, he said.“We need to view these students as rock stars,” Grindatto said. “Math, science and engineering is extremely important to the future of America.”Dozier’s mother is Hungarian and his father is from Santa Clara Pueblo and neither work at the lab, his father Miguel said. “I’m a physician for Indian Health Service and my wife is a teacher at McCurdy High School in Española,” he said. “Ben first became interested in math while in elementary school during science fairs.
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