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Feature Story: ISEF 2012 – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

At Intel we believe young people are the key to building a better future. Intel has been supporting students become creative problem solvers and entrepreneurial inventors through education programs encouraging critical thinking, digital literacy and collaboration. We aim to promote active learning experiences and encourage students to take their classroom learning and apply them to real-world issues – nurturing young talents to thrive as champions of tomorrow.

In May, the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) saw over 1,500 of the world’s brightest young minds come together in a forum to share ideas, showcase their independent research and compete for up to USD $3 million in prizes.

Each year, approximately seven million students put their learning to the test as they delve into research on real-world issues and vie for recognition at local competitions around the globe. The victors of these fairs move on to regional contests until the top 1,500 make their way to Intel ISEF, which was held in Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center this year.

The week-long celebration of science drew to a successful close on May 18th with more than four hundred competing students receiving scholarships and prizes for their innovative research presented at the competition.

The Asia Pacific region contributed a significant number of budding science enthusiasts to the competition. The winner from Australia, Jessica Garrett was an example of the high caliber of these young competitors and the social relevance of the research conducted. Her project, which investigated the environmental factors influencing the recovery of stroke patients, found that colors, patterns and textures of objects, such as carpets, in the surroundings affected the mobility of stroke patients. Her research is not only significant for those assisting the recovery of stroke patients, but will also become an important consideration for the design and planning of our hospitals and other public places.

Feature Story: ISEF 2012 – Inspiring tomorrow’s innovators

As enticing as the awards is simply the experience of participating in Intel ISEF. For many, it is a life-altering experience to spend the week with college professors, distinguished professionals, and even Nobel laureates in their fields of interest, talking about science and absorbing knowledge on everything from data analysis to becoming an entrepreneur. The impact of the Intel ISEF program in opening doors and encouraging innovation can clearly be seen in the students from the Philippines who won a grand award for their work on artificial coral reefs which resulted in the creation of a marine protected area in their community. Intel ISEF provides a unique opportunity for students from all around the world to meet like-minded individuals, take inspiration from each other’s successes and access scientific innovations without borders.

Intel believes that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is vital to solving global challenges. As the sponsors of tomorrow, Intel is directly involved in transforming education to enrich the lives of children with boundless opportunities opened up by innovation and technology – inspiring and enabling the next generation of innovators capable of driving the economic growth of our future.