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Ossining Science Research Student Named Named Siemens Finalist

Skyler Jones
Skyler Jones Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Skyler Jones, an Ossining High School senior, is at the top of her game.

Jones' science research project on perovskite as semiconductors in solar cells is one of 60 in the country that was chosen as a regional finalist in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.

The Siemens Foundation received more than 1,860 applications this year in the national competition. There were 491 semifinalists. The finalists, all of whom will receive at least $1,000 in scholarships, will advance to the regionals next month and will have a shot at winning the top prize of $100,000.

Jones' research combines her interest in chemistry, physics, and alternative energy. Jones said perovskite crystals are more efficient and less expensive than silicon solar cells, which are the industry standard.

“If we can figure out why perovskites are so efficient despite their low purity, we can manufacture semiconductors that are just as efficient as today’s standards but much cheaper,” she said.

Jones conducted her research at Columbia University’s XYZ Lab with Xiaoyang Zhu, a professor of nanoscience and chemistry at the school.

For the regional finals, Jones will present her work and answer questions from a panel of judges at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. The session will be held online in mid-November.

The national finals will be held at George Washington University from Dec. 4-5.

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