Ana Humphrey’s discovery has NASA interested and has won her one of the most prestigious STEM competitions in the country. The 18-year-old is the first Latina to win the Regeneron Science Talent Search in twenty years. She beat 1800 competitors and took home a $250,000 prize.
The Virginia teen invented a model to find planets outside our solar system that may have been missed by NASA. She started her project two years ago and also contacted another Latina, Elisa Quintana a NASA physicist for help.
Ana told the Society of Science, “I looked for these planets where we already found a few, and I wanted to see whether it was possible to fit new ones among the ones we knew about without changing the orbits of the planets. I found 500 locations where we can do this, which means we might be missing some planets.”
Ana, who is Cuban-American has another goal and that is to get more girls interested in STEM. She told NowThis, “Hopefully I will be able to provide another example for girls out there who maybe don’t see themselves going into science.”