Education: Top Juniors

The 40 scientists had their heads in the clouds, but their feet were in bobbysocks and sneakers. They came from high schools all over the U.S. For five days in Washington, D.C., last week, they devoured lectures on molecules and atoms and cyclotrons. And every night, over bedtime milkshakes at the Statler Hotel, they held long bull sessions on genetics, Geiger counters, and oscilloscopes.

The 40 (average age: 17) were the pick of 3,161 junior scientists, finalists in the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search. They were chosen after stiff science aptitude tests, and on...

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