A Rocky Point High School freshman was one of 30 national finalists -- and the sole student from Long Island -- in a prestigious middle school science competition.

Bryant Liu, 13, traveled to San Francisco this month to compete in the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS, a contest for students in grades six through eight coordinated by the Society for Science & the Public. For being a finalist, he was awarded $500.

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Liu was selected for his research on the release of simple sugars from fallen leaves after pre-treating the leaves with acids or bases -- a study aimed at a potential method of getting sugar for biofuels. The project won one of 13 first-place awards at the middle school level in the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair. "I was so shocked and very happy," Liu said of being a finalist.

The students first competed in affiliated science and engineering fairs, which had the option of nominating the top 10 percent for Broadcom MASTERS. This year, more than 2,200 entered the competition and completed applications for a chance to be chosen as a finalist.

The 30 finalists presented their projects and competed in team challenges to show skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.

Liu is on his school's tennis and mock trial teams and is involved in student government. He is a volunteer teacher at the Center for Chinese Learning at Stony Brook.