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AP Spotlights Staples Whiz Rob Sobelman

The Associated Press has told the world about Staples whiz Rob Sobelman.

In a Westport-datelined story, it said: Rob Sobleman thought researching the technique of creating carbon nanotubes would be boring. He ended up making a major scientific discovery.

ӔIt began when the Staples High School senior landed a plum summer internship working with a researcher credited with helping discover carbon nanotubes – microscopic structures whose unique electrical properties are advancing the field of miniaturization.

Working in a lab of graduate and doctorate students, the 17-year-old was asked to study the 20-year-old process of making nanotubes. He was disappointed.

ԔI felt like I was put back in first grade and told to learn how to read again,Ғ Rob said. I had already studied the process, I wanted to work on the application.ђ

But Rob capitalized on the perceived step backward. In a four-week stint at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he discovered how to improve that process dramatically – a finding that recently won him second place in the regional finals of the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Nearly 1,000 students from New England submitted reports for the competition, which, with two Intel-sponsored contests, attracts the toughest competition. Rob came in second to a Massachusetts student who discovered a cancer treatment that affects only bad cells, unlike chemotherapy.

“‘I don’t feel bad losing to the guy who cured cancer,’ he said.”

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