On May 8th through 13th, 2016, approximately 1,750 of the world’s most promising young scientists, engineers and mathematicians gathered in Phoenix, Arizona, to participate in the world’s largest pre-college science competition, the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
These young innovators represent the best of more than 7 million high school students who participated in science fairs around the globe this past year, having won top honors at local, regional and national science competitions to earn their place as finalists.
For many of these high school students, their week in Arizona was a life-changing event.
For some, it was their first time traveling far from home or their first time meeting other young innovators who are as passionate as they are about science, technology, engineering and math.
For others, it offered the chance to interact with and learn from college professors, distinguished professionals and even Nobel laureates in their fields of interest.
For all, it presented the opportunity to compete for more than USD 4 million in prizes and scholarships as finalists shared original research projects – including breakthrough technologies and potential solutions to some the world’s most vexing problems – with panels of esteemed judges.
Additionally, throughout the week, participant attended a range of talks and symposia on STEM subjects.
Highlights included an opening rally featuring keynote speaker Tan Le, founder and CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences, a bio-informatics company focused on identifying biomarkers in the brain through the use of electroencephalography, and the Excellence in Science and Technology Panel, moderated by NPR science correspondent Joe Palca and featuring Nobel Prize winners J. Michael Bishop and Martin Chalfie, MacArthur Fellow Elissa Hallem, and National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipient Cato Laurencin.