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Massachusetts Institute of Technology selects Yewon Lee for institute

MADISON – Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT has chosen Yewon Lee, a junior at James Clemens High School, for an elite institute this summer.

Lee recently was selected to participate in the Research Science Institute or RSI, a summer program that involves approximately only 52 students in the United States and another 30 international students from 16 countries.

This institute is the first cost-free science and engineering program that allows high school students to combine classes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM that MIT professors teach. The basis for a student’s admission solely involves academics and accomplishments. Organizers do not favor an applicant due to legacy status or knowing someone who is associated with the program.

In addition, Lee and her peers will complete research in a lab at MIT, Harvard University or the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., in which participants study medical challenges from across the world and collaborate with scientists and public health experts about important needs in developing countries.

At Research Science Institute, organizers pair students with a mentor to experience the research cycle of reading current journals to writing a research plan, writing a scientific paper and presenting at a conference. RSI also invites guest lecturers, including Nobel Prize winners and leaders in emerging STEM fields.

Currently, Lee plans to conduct her research internship in the field of biochemistry. “I hope to not only learn more about cutting-edge developments in the field, but also to meet and connect with likeminded peers who share similar interests,” Lee said.

“I am excited to represent James Clemens High School and present my work to scientists from around the world and also to interact with other students’ research to gain new perspectives, especially during a time when science and innovation has become more important than ever,” Lee said.

Recently, Lee was selected to participate in the annual International Science and Engineering Fair or ISEF for her current research project. Lee is a previous ISEF finalist before receiving her second invitation. “I’m elated to return and participate in their weeklong event on May 16-21,” Lee said.

At James Clemens, Lee earned gold honors for Medical Math with Health Occupation Students of America or HOSA. She qualified twice for both National Chemistry Olympiad and American Invitational Mathematics Exam or AIME in top 2.5 percent.

In community service, Lee established tutoring for aspiring middle-school mathematicians during the COVID-19 pandemic with webinars on interactive topics that classroom discussion doesn’t cover. She founded “Biolympiad” at James Clemens as a service initiative in writing and filming supplemental science videos.

She is interested in attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a STEM major.

Yewon’s parents are Jongbok Lee and Hyunkyoung Cho. Jongbok is Director of IT for LG CNS America. Hyunkyoung was a teacher in Korea. “We’re incredibly proud of Yewon,” Jongbok said.

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