North County High student invited to State of the Union address

North County High School student Jack Andraka was slated to be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday night at the State of the Union address in Washington.

Jack Andraka, of Crownsville, was invited to sit in the box with the First Lady and also Dr. Jill Biden during President Barack Obama’s address at the U.S. Capitol, according to a release from the White House.

In 2012 Andraka, a sophomore at North County, was awarded first place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his discovery of a method to detect pancreatic cancer.

Andraka had lost an uncle to pancreatic cancer, and created a dip-stick sensor to test blood or urine to determine whether a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer.

According to a release from the White House, his study resulted in more than 90 percent accuracy and showed his patent-pending sensor to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and more than 100 times more sensitive than current tests.

The White House release stated that “President Obama strongly believes that we need more students like Jack who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and has hosted two White House Science Fairs to celebrate students participating in such competitions."

Andraka was one of 23 people invited to sit in the First Lady’s box for the State of the Union event.

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