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Lamberton Receives First TOPS Prize

Melissa L. Lamberton, an 8th grader from Tucson, Arizona, is reaching for the stars. Photo courtesy Discovery Communications, Inc.

Fourteen-year-old Melissa L. Lamberton from Tucson, Arizona, is the first recipient of the Institute for Astronomy TOPS–Reaching for the Stars Prize. She was selected as one of the top forty young science students in the United States during the 2001 Discovery Young Scientist Challenge competition, the only national science fair competition for students in grades five to eight.

The TOPS award from the Institute for Astronomy was one of the discretionary awards given to the twelve best Discovery young scientists at a ceremony held in Washington, DC, on October 16. The IfA award will allow Melissa to participate in the two-week TOPS (Towards Other Planetary Systems) 2002 Summer Program to be held on the Big Island. She will join other leading high school science students and their teacher/mentors from Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands in gaining first-hand experience in basic astronomical research while working side by side with professional astronomers.

The Discovery Young Scientists Program honors students in grades five to eight whose science projects have been selected as being among the forty best in the United States.