The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. The Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, has owned and administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942 in partnership with Westinghouse and since 1998 with Intel. Over the years, Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including eight Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and even an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Students who participate in the Science Talent competition are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community. Every year, Intel STS recognizes and rewards 300 students, as well as their schools. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their scientific work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $630,000 in awards, including the top award of $100,000. The Intel STS finalists represent the nation's most promising young scientists with the potential to discover innovative solutions to global challenges. The top 10 winners will be announced at a black-tie, invite-only gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 11.
This year's (2014) Intel Science Talent Search competition drew nearly 1,800 entrants representing 45 states, the District of Columbia and seven overseas schools. The 40 finalists came from 33 schools in 14 states. Their projects were distributed among 15 categories, including behavioral science, biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, materials science, mathematics, medicine, microbiology, physics, and space science. Notable finalist research projects include biocompatible solar cells, computer models that simulate social networks or aid in disease screening, innovative breast cancer research, and filter and sensor research that can detect arsenic in the home. The 40 finalists were narrowed down from 300 semifinalists and nearly 1,800 entrants. The top 10 finalists were announced on March 11. The first-place award of $100,000 in the Intel competition went to Eric S. Chen, 17, of San Diego, for research on potential new drugs to treat the flu. A Montgomery Blair High School student, Shaun Datta of Gaithersburg, placed 10th and won a $20,000 award for physics research investigating the interaction between baryons in nuclear matter.
In the service area of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that also includes Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, only Maryland produced finalists; in fact, four of them. Montgomery Blair had the most finalist of any high school in the country. They are:
- Shaun Datta, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
Saturated Nuclear Matter in the Large Nc and Heavy Quark Limits of Quantum Chromodynamics
- Neil Davey , Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
Early Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Through the Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Drop-Based Microfluidics
- Benjamin Freed, Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Frederick, MD
Identification of Novel Regulatory Mechanisms of the K-Ras Oncoprotein
- Jessica Shi, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD
The Speeds of Families of Intersection Graphs
Since 1999 when it produced an astonishing six finalists, Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD has been leading the nation in the number of finalists with a total of 30, and it holds second place with 171 semifinalists. In the Finalists/Semifinalist top rankings, the Silver Spring, MD school is followed by Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY (22/178); and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA (10/142)
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