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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Intel honors three Kennedy seniors
Scott Brinton/Herald Life
Three Kennedy seniors were named Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists on Wednesday. Joined by their research mentor, Barbi Frank, at left, they were, from left, Rachel Abramowitz, Ben November and Rebecca Jellinek.

Kennedy High senior Rebecca Jellinek, who played the lead in the school play, “Twelfth Night,” in mid-November, set up a mini-office backstage when she was rehearsing for the play, furiously tapping away at her laptop whenever her presence wasn’t required onstage.

In addition to prepping for her performance in this modern version of the Shakespearean classic, Jellinek was also writing her senior science research thesis for submission to the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search.

The paper was due Nov. 13. Opening night was Nov. 15.

Somehow, Jellinek pulled it all off, submitting her paper on time and staging a seamless performance in “Twelfth Night,” after a series of long nights at school.

“Honestly, I have no idea how she did it,” said Barbi Frank, Jellinek’s science research mentor and an Advanced Placement biology teacher who has mentored 32 Intel semifinalists in the past 10 years.

“I’m used to it, juggling many different things,” Jellinek said with a laugh during an interview in one of Kennedy’s third-floor science labs.

Apparently, she’s very good at juggling things. On Wednesday, Jellinek was named a semifinalist in the Intel contest. And she wasn’t the only Kennedy senior to receive the honor. Rachel Abramowitz and Ben November also received semifinalist accolades.

Each year, more than 1,500 science research students from across the country enter the Intel competition. Three hundred are named semifinalists. Forty finalists will be announced on Jan. 22 and invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists and compete for the top award of $100,000.

Below are profiles of Kennedy’s semifinalists and their work:

Rachel Abramowitz

Why would people in their right minds confess to crimes they did not commit? Falsely confessing to misdeeds as horrible as murder seems implausible, impossible even. But, according to research conducted by Abramowitz, it happens more often than you might think.

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