This past March 5-11, 2015, forty of America's most promising young scientists and mathematicians gathered in Washington, D.C., to take part in the country's most prestigious pre-college science competition, the Intel Science Talent Search. These high school seniors were chosen from more than 1,800 applicants based on their innovative approaches to solving some of today's most complex problems through original research projects.
This year's Intel STS finalists presented cutting-edge research and new technologies in 17 categories: animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics and genomics, chemistry, computer science, earth and planetary science, engineering, environmental science, materials science, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, plant science and space science. Among these projects were: an enhanced method for high-dynamic-range imaging on mobile devices; a low-cost, portable device to detect blood diseases and parasites; an advanced encryption system with potential applications in cybersecurity; new research on the use of quantum dot solar cells as an alternative energy source; and a machine learning-based method to identify promising drugs to combat cancer, tuberculosis and Ebola.
During their week in D.C., these young innovators presented their work to esteemed judges as they competed for a piece of more than $1.6 million in prizes provided by the Intel Foundation.
Additionally, the finalists shared their projects with the public at the National Geographic Society, interacted with Nobel laureates and other scientists in their fields of study, and met government officials as they toured the nation’s capital.
Awards were presented at a black tie gala at the National Building Museum on March 10.
The Intel Science Talent Search 2014 finalists talk about their experiences through the weeklong event, including how it shapes the possibilities for incredible futures as they learn more about researching and make new friends.