Intel Science Talent Search 2011 Finalists


Michelle Abi Hackman

Michelle Abi Hackman New York

John L. Miller Great Neck North High School

Michelle Abi Hackman, 17, of Great Neck, studied the effect of separating teenagers from their cell phones for her Intel Science Talent Search behavioral and social sciences project. After noticing that her friends at a group dinner were texting each other instead of speaking, Michelle designed a project to research the anxiety that humans might feel when unable to use their cell phones. Because Michelle is not sighted, she trained ten assistants to administer her tests and record the results. She isolated 150 high school students (some were allowed to keep their cell phones and the rest were not) and compared their levels of anxiety. Michelle found no significant differences between the groups though data trends may suggest that when students were separated from their cell phones, they exhibited addictive tendencies. At John L. Miller Great Neck North High School, Michelle sings with the jazz choir and started the recycling program. In her spare time, Michelle and a friend lead efforts to fund and promote construction of a rural school in Cambodia for underprivileged girls. The daughter of Daniel and Sarah Hackman, Michelle volunteers with Reporters Without Borders and is considering a career in behavioral science research and science journalism.


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