Teen researchers from 14 states have made it to the final phase of the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search, securing a chance to earn a grand prize of $100,000 and share in awards totaling $630,000.
The 40 young scientists will visit Washington, D.C., March 6–12 to tour the White House and other national landmarks, present their research to judges and the public in a poster session at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society and attend a black-tie awards gala at the National Building Museum.
“We are inspired by the knowledge, determination and passion of this year’s Intel Science Talent Search finalists,” says Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of Society for Science & the Public. “With Intel, we share great excitement in the promise of their future, not only at the finals in March, but as they dig deeper into their particular research and into the challenges society faces.”
Finalists’ projects this year include innovative stem cell research, a mathematical model that can replicate cardiac arrhythmias and a fast-charging, low-cost supercapacitor for energy storage.
“We celebrate these 40 students because their contributions to the world of science will help solve some of our most pressing challenges,” says Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “The Intel Science Talent Search encourages hands-on experience in math and science, which is imperative in enabling young people to think critically, solve problems and understand the world around them.”
Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, publishes Science News and has owned and administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942. Intel assumed title sponsorship of the program in 1998, and has since increased annual awards and scholarships from $207,000 to $1.25 million.
Past STS participants have gone on to distinguished research careers, earning more than 100 of the world’s most coveted scientific accolades. Among those honors are eight Nobel prizes, two Fields Medals (for outstanding discoveries in mathematics), five National Medals of Science and 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.
This year’s finalists — 15 girls and 25 boys representing 33 high schools from coast to coast — were chosen from 1,794 entries in 45 states, the District of Columbia and seven overseas schools. Nineteen of the finalists — almost half — come from California and New York.
Last year’s top prize went to Sara Volz of Colorado Springs, Colo., who conducted an experiment that coaxed algae into boosting their production of oil for use in biofuels. Also honored were Jonah Kallenbach, from Ambler, Pa., who figured out a way to better predict how drug molecules latch onto proteins, and Adam Joseph Bowman, of Brentwood, Tenn., who spent several years designing, building and fine-tuning a plasma gun in his family’s garage.
Kathy Camenzind, San Ramon, California High School
Eric Chen, San Diego, Canyon Crest Academy
Angela Kong, San Jose, Lynbrook High School
Kevin Lee, Irvine, University High School
Charles Liu, Palo Alto, Henry M. Gunn High School
Esha Maiti, San Ramon, California High School
Sreyas Misra, Cupertino, The Harker School
Natalie Ng, Cupertino, Monta Vista High School
Emily Pang, San Ramon, Dougherty Valley High School
Jiho Park, Irvine, University High School
Vishnu Shankar, Cupertino, Monta Vista High School
Anne Merrill, Greenwich, Greenwich High School
Anand Srinivasan, Roswell, Roswell High School
Viola Mocz, Mililani, Mililani High School
Rahul Mehta, Chicago, The University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Yushi Homma, Carmel, Carmel High School
Shaun Datta, North Potomac, Montgomery Blair High School
Neil Davey, Gaithersburg, Montgomery Blair High School
Benjamin Freed, Frederick, Governor Thomas Johnson High School
Jessica Shi, Rockville, Montgomery Blair High School
William Kuszmaul, Lexington, Lexington High School
Ajay Saini, Acton, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
David Seong, Lexington, Lexington High School
Joshua Meier, Teaneck, Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology
Brianna Pereira,Fort Lee, Academy for Medical Science Technology
John Clarke, Syosset, Regis High School
Aron Coraor, Huntington, Huntington High School
Soham Daga, Forest Hills, Stuyvesant High School
Anubhav Guha, Chappaqua, Horace Greeley High School
Preeti Kakani, Jericho, Jericho Senior High School
Ivan Paskov, Scarsdale, Edgemont High School
Sara Sakowitz, New York, The Brearley School
Kaitlyn Shin, Jericho, Jericho Senior High School
Alec Arshavsky, Chapel Hill, East Chapel Hill High School
Parth Thakker, Charlotte, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Zarin Rahman, Brookings, Brookings High School
Joyce Kang, Brentwood, Brentwood High School
Steven Chen, Austin, Westwood High School
Lisa Michaels, Plano, Plano West Senior High School
Thabit Pulak, Richardson, Richardson High School
Finalists are listed by state, name, city and high school.