Each year, more than 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science competition, a program of the Society for Science & the Public. Approximately 1,700 winners of local, regional, state, and national competitions are invited to participate in this week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math. At the event, these young innovators share ideas, showcase cutting-edge research, and compete for more than USD 4 million in awards and scholarships.
Rewarding Scientific Discovery and Innovation
At Intel ISEF, awards are based on students’ abilities to tackle challenging scientific questions, use authentic research practices, and create solutions for the problems of tomorrow.
Top Honors Awarded at Intel ISEF 2018
Following a week-long celebration of science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public announced the top award winners for 2018.
Gordon E. Moore Award Winner
Oliver Nicholls, 19, of Sydney, Australia, received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000 for designing and building a prototype of an autonomous robotic window cleaner for commercial buildings.
In essence, a flying drone-like device is tethered to the roof of the building and equipped with a powerful spray nozzle and rotating scrubbers. The $2,300 device can withstand 28 mph winds and could replace traditional methods that can exceed $11,000 per cleaning and reduce injuries in this high-risk occupation.
Meghana Bollimpalli, 17, of Little Rock, Arkansas, received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for her novel, low-cost approach for synthesizing materials that could greatly cut the production and energy costs of making electrodes for devices like supercapacitors.
She found that combining common substances like tea and molasses with nitrogen and phosphorus in a commercial microwave formed a powder that could be used as a coating for electrode-like materials, giving them similar properties of more expensive metals like platinum.
Dhruvik Parikh, 18, of Bothell, Washington, also received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for his development of less-expensive, yet more robust, ion exchange membranes for use in large, industrial-scale batteries for storing solar or wind-generated electricity for later distribution.
His composite membrane has ten times the proton conductivity of the industry’s standard membrane, while reducing production costs by about 30 percent.
ISEF Award Descriptions
- The Gordon E. Moore Award
This “best of the best” honor and a prize of USD 75,000 is awarded to the top Best of Category winner for outstanding and innovative research, as well as the potential impact of the work.
- The Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award
Two Gordon E. Moore Award runners-up, selected from the Best of Category winners, are awarded USD 50,000 each.
- The Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award
Three finalists are selected to receive all-expenses-paid trips to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS), including attendance at the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Sweden. Recipients must be 18 years old prior to the Nobel ceremony in December.
- Intel ISEF Best of Category Awards
Best of Category projects, selected from the competition’s 17 categories, receive USD 5,000 awards from the Intel Foundation. USD 1,000 grants are awarded to the winners’ schools and the affiliated fairs they represent. Best of Category winners become eligible for the Gordon E. Moore and Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards.
- Intel ISEF Grand Awards
The Intel Foundation provides Grand Awards for first, second, third, and fourth places in each category. Awards are USD 3,000, USD 1,500, USD 1,000, and USD 500, respectively.