CHAMBERLAIN — A Chamberlain High School student recently was named the recipient of the national Regeneron Biomedical Science Award.

Emily Shepherd, 16, received the award based on her presentation titled "Testing the Effect of Beta-carotene on Tenebrio Molitor." The award was announced by the Chamberlain School District and the Eastern South Dakota Science Fair.

The recognition is awarded to students who show exemplary fortitude and exhibit alignment to the five principles of the company's so-called The Regeneron Way: "Lead with Science, Take on Big Ideas, Make it Happen, Be Great Together and Do What’s Right."

Regeneron is a biotechnology company that invents medicines for people with serious diseases. Shepherd demonstrated these winning traits, leading in the next generation of scientists who will change the world. As part of the award, Shepherd will receive a $500 prize.

Shepherd’s future plans include studying human biology and attending medical school.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“Research and design (at Chamberlain High School) opened the door to many connections and opportunities like this award. It will help me complete research projects in my collegiate future. Completing projects like those in science fairs is a great way to show students how science connects to the real world and the impact science has on our lives,” Shepherd said in a statement.

Shepherd said her favorite part of her project was getting to focus on a subject that was interesting to her and she got to work on it for the whole year. She also loved expanding her knowledge on a new topic and informing others through displaying her poster and presenting to the public.

Carrie Cox, who teaches physics and chemistry at Chamberlain High School and Chamberlain Middle School and also heads up the Chamberlain High School Science Fair, said the award is a reflection on the dedication Shepherd puts into her work.

“Emily is an exceptional student. The time she took to research, collect and analyze data, and the commitment to sharing her results is commendable and I am so proud of her. All of my students who compete in Science Fair put a large amount of effort into their projects and I love how they chose topics they are passionate about. It makes teaching easy, when the students enjoy what they are doing,” Cox said in an email to the Mitchell Republic.

A total of 550 students come to the Science and Engineering Fair from 33 counties in South Dakota and Iowa. Counties include Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Davison, Deuel, Douglas, Gregory, Hamlin, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Sioux (Iowa), Tripp, Turner, Union and Yankton. South Dakota State University hosted the 2021 Eastern Region Fair virtually.

Students in grades 6-through-8 compete for more than $7,000 in awards and scholarships from SDSU and various community organizations. Regeneron honors student achievement as well as recognizes outstanding teachers through several awards.

Some of these projects will go on to compete in larger scientific endeavors including Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).