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Top Young Scientists From Around The World Awarded $4 Million In Scholarships

Female Students Sweep Top Awards at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

INDIANAPOLIS, May 12, 2006 – Three young scientists each received a $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Scholarship today by taking top honors at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2006, presented by Agilent Technologies.

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GIRLS OF SCIENCE – Hannah Wolf, left, 16, from Allentown, Pa.; Madhavi Gavini, center, 16, from Starkville, Miss.; and Meredith MacGregor, right, 17, from Boulder, Colo., receive top honors at the 2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Indianapolis, Friday, May 12, 2006. Each young scientist won a $50,000 scholarship. The Intel ISEF brings together nearly 1,500 students from 47 countries, regions and territories to compete for more than $4 million in awards and scholarships.

Madhavi Gavini of Starkville, Miss.; Meredith MacGregor of Boulder, Colo.; and Hannah Wolf of Allentown, Pa., excelled among a record-setting, worldwide pool of 1,482 competitors from 47 countries, regions and territories, setting the bar for future scientific research in three disciplines.

Gavini, 16, discovered a novel method to destroy a common and deadly infectious bacterium – pseudomonas aeruginosa – that causes secondary infections that often lead to death in patients with compromised immune systems, such as those with cancer, AIDS and serious burns.

MacGregor, 17, studied the so-called “Brazil-Nut Effect”: when a container of granular material is shaken, particles separate by size, with the largest rising to the top, like Brazil nuts in a can of mixed nuts. One of the most significant implications of understanding this effect is in the mixing of compound pharmaceuticals to ensure particles of different densities are evenly combined as they are packaged for human consumption. The effect also becomes relevant in natural phenomena such as rock slides.

Wolf, 16, studied formations caused by ancient earthquakes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to try to determine the epicenters of the quakes and assess the impact. She mapped, photographed and measured the formations within the study area, then analyzed characteristics of the formations to determine the intensity of the quake and the direction and distance it moved. Understanding where the most damage has occurred can lead scientists to more accurate assessment and prediction of seismic hazards.

“It is a privilege to meet these outstanding young people and be inspired by their curiosity, enthusiasm and dedication,” said Craig Barrett, Intel chairman. “This generation of young scientists and inventors will surely find solutions to global issues and change the world for the better.”

“Best of Category” Award Winners Span 33 Countries

Each year, tens of thousands of students participate in regional affiliated fairs to earn the opportunity to compete at Intel ISEF. They present their projects in one of 14 scientific disciplines: Behavioral and Social Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, Space Science and Zoology.

More than 585 students received scholarships and prizes at this year’s Intel ISEF. The top-scoring student in each project category receives a $5,000 scholarship and a high-performance computer from the Intel Foundation. These students’ schools and their affiliated fairs directors also receive $1,000 to benefit science and math education and to encourage more student involvement in science. Following are the Best of Category award winners by country:


Quebec: Adrian Veres, 16, College Jean-de-Brebeuf, Montreal, for Biochemistry.

Chinese Taipei

Kaohsiung: Yi-Chi Chao, 18, the Affiliated Senior High School of NKNU, for Zoology. Chen Wei Tsai, 16, the Affiliated Senior High School of NKNU, for Chemistry.


Guanajuato: Maria Estela Godinez, 16, CBTis No. 139, San Francisco, for Computer Science.

United States

California: Terik Daly, 16, Oak Grove High School, San Jose, for Space Science. Michael Viscardi, 17, Josan Academy, San Diego for Mathematics.

Colorado: Meredith MacGregor, 17, Fairview High School, Boulder, for Physics.

Florida: Andrew Warren, 16, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, for Microbiology.

Mississippi: Madhavi Gavini, 16, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Columbus, for Medicine and Health.

New York: Mary Martha Douglas, 17, and Alison Liu, 16, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, for Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Team category.

Ohio: John Moore, 18, Dayton Christian High School, Miamisburg, for Engineering. Maya Wolpert, 18, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights for Behavioral and Social Science.

Pennsylvania: Caroline Lang, 14, Independence Home School, Yardley, for Botany. Hannah Wolf, 16, Parkland High School, Allentown for Earth Science.

Wyoming: Erica David, 16, Pinedale High School, Pinedale, for Environmental Science.

Other Major Awards

  • John Moore, 18, of Miamisburg, Ohio; Shannon Babb, 18, of American Fork, Utah; and Yi-Chi Chao, 18, of Taipei, Taiwan won the Seaborg Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS) Award trip to attend the SIYSS event and the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in December.
  • Mary Douglas, 17, and Alison Liu, 16, of Manhasset, N.Y. won the European Union Contest for Young Scientists award, which is an all-expense paid trip to attend the EU Contest to be held in Stockholm, Sweden in September.
  • Victor Shia, 17, George Chen, 17, and Frank Chuang, 17, all of Cupertino, Calif., won the MILSET (International Movement for Leisure in Science and Technology)-Expo-Sciences International award, which is an all-expense paid trip to the International Youth Science Exhibition in Tarragona, Spain in July.

Grand Awards are given to first ($3,000) second ($1,500), third ($1,000) and fourth place ($500) projects in each category. In addition, special awards including scholarships, summer internships, scientific field trips and laboratory equipment are provided by Intel and Science Service, as well as 80 other corporate, professional and government sponsors. For a complete list of all award recipients, visit www.sciserv.org/isef.


This is the 10th year of Intel’s title sponsorship of the International Science and Engineering Fair. Intel ISEF is the world's largest celebration of science showcasing the world's most promising young scientists and inventors in grades 9-12. The finalists competing in Indianapolis began as part of a worldwide field of several million science fair participants during the past academic year. These finalists were among 65,000 students competing at more than 558 regional Intel ISEF-affiliated science fairs around the world to win the right to participate at the Intel ISEF.

The fair has been administered for the past 57 years by Science Service, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the understanding and appreciation of science around the globe through publications and educational programs. For more information about Science Service and the Intel ISEF, visit www.sciserv.org.

Through education programs such as the Intel ISEF, Intel works to inspire and educate children in communities around the world in the areas of science, mathematics and engineering. For more information, visit www.intel.com/education.

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