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OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (AP) -- A 17-year-old girl won a scholarship worth $100,000 for building an inexpensive yet accurate spectrograph that identifies the "fingerprints" of different molecules.

Mary Masterman, a senior at Westmoore High School in Oklahoma City, was named the winner Tuesday of the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

More than 1,700 high school seniors across the nation entered the contest, which is in its 66th year.

Spectrographs, which measure wave lengths, are used in research such as astronomy and medicine and in industry. For example, they can be used as a sensing device to look for explosives or drugs or to help determine how old an art work is through its pigments.

They can cost as much as $100,000, but Masterman's invention -- made of lenses, a laser, aluminum tubing and a camera -- cost less than $1,000, Intel said.

Masterman received the honor from Intel Corp. Chairman Craig Barrett during a banquet Tuesday night in Washington.

"It was a complete surprise," Masterman said. "I wasn't expecting it."

The 40 finalists spent the last week in Washington, where they exhibited their projects at the National Institute of Science and met government officials including Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Masterman said she has been interested in science "ever since I was little. I can't remember ever not being interested." She credits her parents with encouraging her.

She said she has not decided where she will attend college but would eventually like to become a physicist or chemist.

Among the former winners of the competition's top award are six Nobel Laureates, three National Medal of Science winners, 10 MacArthur Foundation Fellows and two Fields Medalists.

"You're not only dealing with the top young person in the science field in the country in Mary, but you're dealing with 40 finalists who are doing breaking-edge research in total," said Brenda Musilli, Intel's director of education. "It's really something that's hard to imagine, how a young person like Mary could even achieve this level of capability at such a young age."

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!

bbbbbbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbbbbbbbbbbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

congrats to her, nice achievement :)

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!

well if you can do better give it a try. !

Congrats to her.

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wow. Well done to her lol.

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!
And she's a girl, what more could you ask for. ;)

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Nice, I only get ?3000 over 3 years with my Scholarship, cause I got 280 Ucas points at College when I only needed 240 Ucas points for my course at University.

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well if you can do better give it a try. !

Congrats to her.

That's not the point. I just hate over-achievers....I used to be one and realized what it leads to...

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And she's a girl, what more could you ask for. ;)

A nice rack?

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Congrats to her! :cool:

However - This thread is worthless without pics!

(there... someone had to say it :whistle: )

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Congrats to her! :cool:

However - This thread is worthless without pics!

(there... someone had to say it :whistle: )

story.science.award.ap.jpg

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thanks for killing the thread

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that watch goes nicely with her dress

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story.science.award.ap.jpg

LOL, looks like she even has a calculator wristwatch.

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She looks like the Vanishing Point winner :o

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maybe it is the vanishing point winner

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!

Remember kids, just because you have some shortcomings doesn't give you the right to complain!

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LOL, looks like she even has a calculator wristwatch.

Haha good point, I almost missed it. My buddy Lawrence and I were joking that she may be good to go pending some.....errr....."procedures."

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Congrats to her! :cool:

However - This thread is worthless without pics!

(there... someone had to say it :whistle: )

oh god, that meme has made it here? >.<

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She looks like a little boy lol.

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She looks like a little boy lol.

She looks like any one of the Hanson kids.

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Hehe Geeks. Awesome.

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Nnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrdddddddd!

and why to F*** u have a problem with that?

or u that smart? :sleep:

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Congrats to her! :cool:

However - This thread is worthless without pics!

(there... someone had to say it :whistle: )

:rolleyes: it's amazing how i didn't care what she looked like but was actually just happy reading the article. geess.

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I'd hit it.

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