Is the farm-boy tinkerer a vanishing American breed? Jerome George
("Jerry") Spitzner, 17, lives on his father's 160-acre farm,
4 miles outside of St. James, Minn. (pop.
5,005). Last week, in a field of 29,000 bright high school seniors from
every state in the Union, Jerry walked off with the top $7,500 award in
the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search. His winning project: an
ion accelerator made of such handy items as a Christmas-tree ornament
and a float from a pig watering trough.
Built in a shack behind his house, the homemade atom smasher...
To continue reading:
Want the full story?
Get TIME the way you want it
Week Digital Pass — $4.99
Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS — $2.99
Year ALL ACCESS — Just $30! Best Deal!
Print Magazine + Digital Edition +
Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com
Learn more about the benefits of being
a TIME subscriber
If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!