David Shykind, a 17-years-old Silver Spring youth who has conducted original research in the field of immunochemistry, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship last night as second-place winner in the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search.
Shykind, who ranks first in the senior class at Springbrook High School, was selected from a field of more than 1,000 students in the nation's largest high school science scholarship competition. He plans to attend Johns Hopkins University.
The youth, who said he once bet a friend that he would not even be one of the competition's 40 finalists, described his project as an attempt to locate and statistically analyze chemical characteristics of certain antibody proteins that can cause problems during blood transfusions.
Shyking and 11 other winners received their awards last night at a banquet at the Mayflower Hotel.
His reaction upon hearing he was among the top winners was to say: "I'm amazed, quited simply amazed." His father, Edwin Shykind, who works for the Commerce Department, said, "We are very excited and proud and a little overwhelmed."
The top winner, who got a $12,000 scholarship, was Ron K. Unz of North Hollywood, Calif., whose project in theoretical physics predicted the presence of a previously undefined force similar to gravitational force and may contribute new knowledge concerning the "death" of stars.
It was the second year in a row that a Washington area youth has taken a top prize in the Westinghouse competition. Last year, 17-year-old Michael Stephen Briggs of High Point High School in Prince George's County took first place with a project involving research in game theory.
This year there were six Washington area youths among the 40 finalists.