NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The list of semifinalists is out for the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search and 53 of the 300 students are from Long Island.

From finding a cure to the medical condition Sepsis to helping third world countries have systems to easily get clean water, the semifinalists at Jericho High School have spent their summers in the labs there to get this far.

“I always have been interested in genetics and certain diseases, such as obesity, are hugely prevalent in today’s world,” said 16-year-old Michael Shen, who studied obesity genes.

“I spent my summer in a research lab. I spent around eight hours a day in a research lab doing this project for approximately two months,” said 17-year-old Raymond Wu, whose project focused on the heart.

That was while his friends were outside swimming and playing tennis.

“It was definitely worth it,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.

“I spent the past two summers at Stony Brook University developing a novel membrane filtration system that simultaneously removes heavy metals from water and filtrates the dirt particles and contaminants that are found in our waste water today,” said 17-year-old Brendan Liu.

“I did a novel investigation of the effects of tai chi on psychological well-being, quality of life in Chinese-American breast cancer patients and the overall effects of the study were that tai chi was able to effectively reduce the stress levels, anxiety levels, and depression levels in the participants, as well as increase the overall quality of life,” said 17-year-old Samuel Lam.

Also among the semifinalists from Jericho is 17-year-old Sonia Joshi, who worked on finding a cure for the blood illness Sepsis.

And it would be wrong to not mention that many of the students who have made it this far in the competition had their lives at least slightly altered by Hurricane Sandy.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday, Lawrence High School produced three semifinalists.

The deadline for the Intel competition was just  two weeks after Sandy flooded Ariel Chapin’s Atlantic Beach  home. In the dark and cold, with  six feet of water in her basement, she managed to prove that gender plays a role in spatial learning.

Another salvaged her research  from a flooded basement.

“She took her pages and she laid them out on tables to dry them out. And she submitted an hour before the deadline,” Intel project advisor Rebecca Isseroff said.

As did Andrew Chen, who wrote his  paper on his solar cell research using good old fashioned candlelight.

“We had no electricity. We had no internet to look up any references,” Chen said.

The 40 finalists will be announced in two weeks, with the ultimate winner taking home $100,000. Each semifinalist and each winning school is awarded $1,000, CBS 2’s Gusoff reported.

For the full list of semifinalists, by state and town, click here for the PDF.

Long Island is no stranger to being the source of semifinalists in this competition. Last year, homeless student Samantha Garvey of Brentwood High School even got a mention in the State of the Union.

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