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Inspiring Innovators of Tomorrow

Intel Science Talent Search

About the Intel Science Talent Search

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. It honors exceptional high school seniors for their scientific research and their potential as future leaders in the scientific community.

Each year, approximately 1,800 students attending American high schools enter the competition in the hope of winning awards. The applicant pool is first narrowed to three hundred semifinalists, who – along with their schools – receive cash prizes. From there, the top 40 candidates are selected as Intel STS finalists and invited to Washington, D.C., to attend a week-long celebration of science and compete for top honors:

The Basic Research Medal recognizes finalists who demonstrate exceptional scientific potential through depth of research and analysis, which is critical to conducting basic or fundamental research. 

The Global Good Medal rewards finalists who demonstrate great scientific potential through their passion to make a difference, most notably by seeking solutions to real-world problems.

The Innovation Medal celebrates finalists whose great potential is exemplified by applying the problem-solving aptitude of an engineer through innovative design and creativity.

Inspiring innovation

Since 1998, Intel has sponsored this venerated competition. Now in its 75th year, the Intel Science Talent Search continues to inspire innovation in science, technology, engineering and math, and to recognize notable achievements by the next generation of scientific leaders.

At present, Intel STS alumni hold more than 100 of the world’s most revered scientific awards, including eleven National Medals of Science or Technology, eighteen MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grants, two Fields Medalists, and twelve Nobel Laureates.

Rewarding excellence

Intel STS finalists compete for top prizes in three categories:  

Basic Research

                First Prize: $150,000

                Second Prize: $75,000

                Third Prize: $35,000

Global Good

                First Prize: $150,000

                Second Prize: $75,000

                Third Prize: $35,000


                First Prize: $150,000

                Second Prize: $75,000

                Third Prize: $35,000

The remaining 31 finalists each receive $7,500.

Additionally, every finalist receives:

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
  • An opportunity to meet with government officials, including the President or Vice President of the United States
  • A chance to interact with distinguished scientists and display research at the National Geographic Society

  In total, more than $1 million in prizes will be awarded at Intel STS 2016.

Meet the 2016 Intel STS finalists >

Society for Science & the Public >

Intel STS 2016 Winners >

Enter Intel STS >

Get Involved >

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