breaking news

Dolphins respond to Donald Trump with protest during national anthem

Dreyfoos valedictorian sees himself as chemist who loves to play piano


MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Stefan Wan, 17

Saving the planet might be on the career path for Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts valedictorian Stefan Wan. The Wellington teen is doing research in conjunction with the University of Florida to help discover what is happening with the overgrowth of algae in bodies of water in Florida.

Wan created a method to remove phosphorus from water and then recycle it as fertilizer. He then designed the objective to remove the phosphorus and reached out to a professor to do research at the University of Florida about two years ago.

Wan said nutrients like phosphorus cause algae to grow and the overgrowth of this algae may negatively impact the ecosystem. “The continued algae growth may damage the ecosystem,” he said. “(But) by treating the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, those two areas, that would resolve the algae problems most in Florida.”

Wan said working on the project with UF has been one of his biggest accomplishments and the research has brought him added attention and accolades. “I’ve done scientific research at the lab at UF and I submitted those projects to multiple science competitions,” he said. “I won second place at the International Science Engineering Fair.”

Wan also was chosen as one of only 40 students nationwide to be a Regeneron Talent finalist. In March, Wan went to Washington, D.C. to compete for top prizes. He placed 10th.

The International Science Engineering Fair is sponsored by Intel and the Regeneron Science Talent Search is sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and both were organized by the Society for Science in the Public.

Time management has been one of Wan’s biggest challenges. He said that it’s difficult to find the time to study to maintain good grades and have time for extracurricular activities.

Wan’s GPA is 4.0 and his HPA is 5.32. He is president of the Math Honor Society and the Science Honor Society and is the head science tutoring coordinator in the National Honor Society. And, he has taken 15 AP classes so far, not including this year.

Wan said he aspires to be a chemistry professor but is also keeping his options open. He said that he would ideally like to study at Stanford, Harvard or Yale but nothing has been confirmed.

Wan is also a classically trained pianist who has studied piano for the past 12 years, including the past four at Dreyfoos. “I’ve been very interested in the Romantic era of classical music,” he said. “So composers like Chopin are my favorite types of pieces.”

Wan described himself as “curious” and says he thinks of himself as a chemist who loves to play piano. “I’m a very curious, open-minded individual that really likes to learn anything,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys
LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys

A female dolphin stranded near the shores of Sugarloaf Key was helped by a group of rescuers on Saturday. A homeowner making repairs to his window broken after Hurricane Irma spotted the dolphin near his home around 11 a.m. He called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and soon a group of people were helping to return the slightly burned female...
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady

Melania Trump has completed her first solo duty as first lady outside of the United States, participating in a meeting with Prince Harry ahead of the Invictus Games - the multi-sport international event Harry created for wounded, injured or sick armed services members, and leading the U.S. delegation for the Games. On Saturday, the first...
NEW: Five displaced after Lake Worth apartment catches on fire
NEW: Five displaced after Lake Worth apartment catches on fire

The Red Cross is helping to find shelter for five people who were displaced after their Lake Worth apartment caught on fire. Palm Beach Fire Rescue responded to the fire around 6 a.m. today in the 700 block of North A Street. Crews located a fire in a front bedroom and extinguished it before it could damage surrounding apartments. No one was reported...
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part III: Two deaths and a return to school
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part III: Two deaths and a return to school

(Originally published March 17, 2016) Readers: This is the last of a three-parter on the Norleys; it’s a family story of tragedy and triumph. Dolores and Theodore “Skeeter” Norley already had dealt with their first son, Greg, being born with developmental challenges, and another son, David, vanishing at sea at age 16. The fates weren&rsquo...
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part II: A brave stand and a tragic vanishing
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part II: A brave stand and a tragic vanishing

(Originally published March 10, 2016) Readers: Last week we began telling the life story of Dolores Norley. Husband Theodore “Skeeter” Norley — many of his patients just called him “Doctor T” — had been just the second orthopedic surgeon in Palm Beach County. But he clashed with the establishment. He refused to treat...
More Stories