I’ve been thinking a lot about Russ, science, and SF — tried to outsource this work to students, but no one took the bait.
So yesterday, I had my engineering partner look into this (which turned out to be very easy — google search) and this is what he found.
Joanna Ruts Russ was 15 years old, a student at William H. Taft High School in New York when she was a finalist for the Westinghouse. Her project was entitled “Growth of Certain Fungi under Colored Light and in Darkness.”
You can see her joining a fellow award winner on the third slide of the show with the caption
“Dr. Alexander Wetmore of the Smithsonian Institute and Milliam Mann of the U.S. National Zoological Park get a lesson in eating buffalo steak from STS 1953 Finalists Joanna Russ and Edward Menhinick.”