Bangor High School Student Recognized as a Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist

Vetri Vel

The Bangor School Department is proud to announce that Vetri Vel has been recognized as a Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist! #RegeneronSTS is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Only 40 young scientists are selected as finalists. The 2021 finalists were selected from 1,760 highly qualified entrants based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientists and leaders.

Vetri’s project is titled: Real-Time Fall Detection System for the Elderly Using Thermal Imaging and Deep Learning.

Finalists’ projects span a diverse range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related topics, including diagnostic imaging to help assess the severity of COVID-19, examining the impact of e-cigarettes on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) development, and creating a new way to filter toxins more effectively from wastewater.

The finalists will participate in a virtual competition from March 10-17, 2021, where they will undergo a rigorous virtual judging process to compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and display their projects to the public during a virtual event on March 14. Usually held in person in Washington, D.C., the 2021 competition will take place virtually in order to keep the finalists and their families safe during the ongoing pandemic.

The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021 winners will be announced during a live-streamed virtual awards ceremony on March 17. In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search, which includes awards to finalists as well as $2,000 provided to each of the top 300 scholars and their schools.

Barbara Stewart, Head of the BHS Science Department, has also been named a Teacher of Merit by Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021. Bangor High School will receive $2000 to use to promote student research in STEM fields. In past years, Bangor High has entered competitions at the Maine State Science Fair and to the regional competition in New Hampshire, both highlights of the year for everyone involved. This year, BHS is planning outdoor opportunities and the potential for launching satellites

“It’s an honor to welcome the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021 finalists to the community of alumni who share a drive and passion for science,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, and among the top winners of the 1976 Science Talent Search. “This year’s finalists represent many of our nation’s most promising young scientists who, even during a global pandemic, are using their ingenuity, resourcefulness and STEM skills to work toward a better future. I can only hope that their STS experience further inspires them to take on and help solve the biggest challenges facing mankind – from climate change to disease and future pandemics.”

“Congratulations to the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021 finalists,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science, Publisher of Science News and 1985 Science Talent Search alum. “Finalists are the top young scientists and engineers in the United States who will someday solve some of the world’s most vexing problems. They have persevered through a tumultuous year and we look forward to celebrating the students’ achievement in a special way.”

This article was provided by the Bangor School Department as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at