Two PA teens win big in national public health competition

    Two Pennsylvania teenagers have won top honors in a national public health competition for their research projects.

    Two Pennsylvania teenagers have won top honors in a national public health competition for their research projects.
    (Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/specialkrb/ / CC BY-ND 2.0)

    The Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition seeks out original student research on behaviors and other factors that affect health. Seventeen-year-old Shoshanna Goldin of Allentown and Sixteen-year-old Gazelle Zerafati of Villanova each won a 50,000 dollar scholarship for their projects. Zerafati investigated migraines in teenage girls. Goldin surveyed 145 kids to find out when they start consuming energy drinks:

    Goldin: By the age of Twelve 1 in 3 have tried energy drinks and 1 in 5 drink them routinely, and by the age of fourteen 80 percent have tried energy drinks

    Goldin says students use the drinks to study, overcome sleepiness, and to fit in.

    Professor Warren Hilton of Drexel’s School of Public Health says young people often don’t get interested in Public Health until they are in college. He says competitions are a great way to get them engaged in the field, and get their input on research topics:

    Hilton: The perspective that a young person can give all of us on public health is what they are thinking the issues are, and if they are thinking about these issues now, quite possibly those will be the issues of the future

    The Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition is an annual national contest for budding researchers who have to present their projects before a panel of judges.

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