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A Surprising Explanation For Why Some Immigrants Excel In Science

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“Seventeen-year-old Indrani Das just won the top high school science prize in the country. Das, who lives in Oradell, N.J., took home $250,000 from the former Intel Science Talent Search, now the Regeneron Science Talent Search, for her study of brain injuries and neuron damage. In her spare time, she’s already working with patients as a certified EMT. As the Times of India pointed out, Das was one of five Indian Americans among the competition’s top ten finishers. In last year’s contest, according to one study, more than 80 percent of finalists were the children of immigrants. What is it that spurs so many recent arrivals to the United States to excel in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM disciplines? Some invoke cultural stereotypes, like that of the “Tiger Mother,” for an explanation.”(more)

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