Greenwich High School’s Olivia Hallisey, Google Science Fair Winner, Schools Stephen Colbert on Her Ebola Test

Olivi Hallisey

Introduced by GHS science teacher Andy Bramante, Olivia Hallisey shows off her Google Science Fair first prize trophy, Sept. 2015. Credit: Leslie Yager

“Why not go with a baking soda volcano?” Mr. Colbert asked 17-year-old Olivia Hallisey, a GHS junior who won the Google Science Fair grand prize.

On a recent episode of  his The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, Mr. Colbert may have joked a bit, but was clearly impressed with the young science student.

“I don’t know whether to be inspired or intimidated right now,” Mr. Colbert said.

“I’m in a science research class and my teacher said look for something that inspires you, something that’s relevant,” she said. “That was last fall when Ebola was really big in the news. I began looking at the spread of Ebola. The biggest problem I saw was how quickly it was spreading.”

She said the existing Ebola tests were expensive, complicated and required refrigeration. Hers, however utilizes a silk fiber process.

“Was it hard?” Colbert asked. “Did it take a lot of time?”

Hallisey credited many people for their help including two mentors from Tufts University, and her GHS science research teacher Andy Bramante. She said she also spent time contacting a lot of companies to obtain certain chemicals.

See also:

GHS Junior, Olivia Hallisey Receives Google Global Science Fair 2015 Grand Prize

This is What a Google Science Fair Award Looks Like

Greenwich High School Research Scientists: Unprecedented Awards Sweep

Greenwich Students Excel at 2015 CT Science & Engineering Fair


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  • Erin Skinner

    This is really impressive, great job Olivia!