Carmel Valley student Eric Chen to ring New York Stock Exchange closing bell

By Kristina Houck

A Carmel Valley student will ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

As one of the winners in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, Canyon Crest Academy senior Eric Chen won a scholarship and the opportunity to ring the bell.

“I found out a lot of celebrities and famous singers get to do it,” said 17-year-old Eric. “It’s really an honor.”

Eric won the $100,000 grand prize in the Individual category for his discovery of potent influenza endonuclease inhibitors, which could be used to develop anti-flu drugs. He was also the grand prize winner of the Google Science Fair and a finalist in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

“The Siemens Competition participants were all students and they’re also incredibly intelligent,” Eric said. “I was very surprised to also win this competition.”

Eric is the only winner from the West Coast. For their research on the ozone resistance of plants, New Yorkers Priyanka Wadgaonkar, Zainab Mahmood and JiaWen Pei received the $100,000 grand prize scholarship in the Team category. The three East Coast students will also ring the closing bell.

This will be Eric’s first time visiting New York.

When not doing schoolwork, working on his research project or sharing his work with others, Eric is looking forward to his future. He has already been accepted to Harvard University.

“I’m not sure if I can top last year, but I’m really hoping to continue my work,” said Eric, who wants to be a college professor or entrepreneur. “It’s still something I want to invest my time in when I’m in college. Hopefully, if I keep working on it, something really great will come out of it.”