STS finalists bound for Washington

Forty vie for top awards in 2013 Intel Science Talent Search

Young researchers from 21 states have made it to the final stage of the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search, earning the chance to compete for a total of $630,000 in awards.

The finalists will visit Washington, D.C., March 7–13 to see the White House and other national landmarks, present their research 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 commend the 40 Intel Talent Search finalists on their successes so far and look forward to watching them progress not only during the finals in Washington, but also in their future careers,” says Elizabeth Marincola, publisher of Science News and president of Society for Science & the Public, which has operated the competition since 1942. Intel has sponsored the program for 15 years.

Many past Science Talent Search finalists have gone on to distinguished research careers. Alumni have won a total of seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science and 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

The finalists were chosen from more than 1,700 entries.

“This year’s … finalists are presenting a wide range of research, from optimizing algae oil for biofuel to developing a new treatment for blood cancer,” says Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “It’s exciting for the future of innovation because the U.S. needs these 40 high school seniors, and others like them, to question, explore and help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

Last year’s top award went to Nithin Tumma of Fort Gratiot, Mich., who did research on a protein that helps cancer evade the body’s immune system. Also honored were Andrey Sushko of Richland, Wash., who created a tiny motor just 7 millimeters across that draws its power from the surface tension of water, and Mimi Yen of New York City, who studied genetic influences on mating behavior in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

2013 Intel STS Finalists (listed by state, name, city and high school)

ARIZONA – Annie Dai, Phoenix, Desert Vista High School

CALIFORNIA – Pavan Mehrotra, Simi Valley, Sierra Canyon School; Kevin Chen, Fremont, Mission San Jose High School; Kelly Zhang, Orinda, The College Preparatory School; Sahana Vasudevan, Palo Alto, Gnyanam Academy; Jack Takahashi, Saratoga, Lynbrook High School; Paulomi Bhattacharya, Cupertino, The Harker School

COLORADO – Sara Volz, Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain High School

CONNECTICUT – Stephen Le Breton, Greenwich, Greenwich High School

FLORIDA – Brittany Wenger, Sarasota, Out-of-Door Academy

GEORGIA – Lillian Chin, Decatur, The Westminster Schools; Raja Selvakumar, Alpharetta, Milton High School

ILLINOIS – Lane Gunderman, Chicago, The University of Chicago Laboratory High School

INDIANA – Peter Kraft, Munster, Munster High School

KENTUCKY – Naethan Mundkur, Louisville, duPont Manual High School

MASSACHUSETTS – Jacob Johnson, Boxborough, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; Surya Bhupatiraju, Lexington, Lexington High School

MARYLAND – Samuel Zbarsky, Rockville, Montgomery Blair High School

MICHIGAN – Lilia Popova, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Huron High School

NEW JERSEY – Jennifer Chan, Upper Saddle River, Academy for Medical Science Technology; Catherine Wong, Morristown, Morristown High School

NEW MEXICO – Katherine Cordwell, Albuquerque, Manzano High School

NEW YORK – Samantha Scibelli, Burnt Hills, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School; Jiayi Peng, Chappaqua, Horace Greeley High School; Chris Traver, Croton-on-Hudson, Croton-Harmon High School; Mayuri Sridhar, Kings Park, Kings Park High School; Jamie Solimano, New York, Stuyvesant High School; Daniel McQuaid, Ossining, Ossining High School; Michael Zhang, Saint James, Smithtown High School East

OREGON – Hannah Larson, Eugene, South Eugene High School; Naomi Shah, Portland, Sunset High School; Raghav Tripathi, Portland, Westview High School

PENNSYLVANIA – Joy Wang, Orefield, Parkland High School; Jonah Kallenbach, Ambler, Germantown Academy; Meghan Shea, West Chester; Unionville High School

TENNESSEE – Akshay Padmanabha, Collierville, Houston High School; Adam Bowman, Brentwood, Montgomery Bell Academy

TEXAS – Kensen Shi, College Station, A&M Consolidated High School

VIRGINIA – Alexa Dantzler, Manassas, Bishop O’Connell High School

WEST VIRGINIA – Vincent O’Leary, Wheeling, Wheeling Central Catholic High School

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