The nation's top high school science competitors are needed for the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which offers $140,000 in scholarships to the top finalists.

High school seniors are eligible to participate in the 48th annual search, and must write a 1,000-word report on an independent research project. The report must be submitted by Dec. 15 to Science Service, a Washington-based non-profit organization that promotes public understanding of science.The program identifies high school seniors with talent in science, mathematics or engineering. The field of about 1,400 entrants will be pared down to 40, who will compete for the $20,000 first prize.

Students attending the competition will get an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The Westinghouse Science Talent Search is regarded as the highest academic honor a high school scientist can attain. Former winners include five Nobel Prize winners, two Fields Medals in mathematics, and eight MacArthur Foundation fellowships.