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Musicians, Athletes, and Leaders

By Caitlin Sullivan, Intel Science Talent Search Manager

After getting to know this year’s 40 Intel STS finalists over multiple emails and phone calls the past few weeks, it has been great to finally meet them in person at the 70th Science Talent Institute, which  kicked off yesterday in Washington, DC. As the Intel STS manager, I have also had the privilege of learning more about each of the finalist’s impressive projects. These students have a gift for delving into important scientific questions that impact their communities, the country, and even the world.

Therefore, it may not be surprising that five of the bright finalists have a remarkable perfect SAT score or that seven placed at Intel ISEF 2010. However, you may not realize that eight serve as writers or editors for their school publications, 17 balance their scientific research with a varsity sport, and more than half, 24, play a musical instrument. Far from being shut away in their labs, 32 finalists also lead at least one school club or association.

These inspiring stats were brought to life for me yesterday as I heard Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” playing and discovered the music was produced by two finalists hanging out in the e-lounge. I peeked in to see Shubhro at the piano and Keenan on vocals and air guitar. Later I heard Coldplay and peeked in again to give Shrubhro the thumbs up, but found they had switched places. What a talented group of individuals we have!

I also don’t think I’ve ever seen 40 people play Apples to Apples at the same time, but these finalists weren’t about to leave anyone out. The best part is that they were surrounded by computers, but they all chose to get to know each other instead.

I look forward to getting to know these amazing students even better in the days to come and to honoring their significant work at Tuesday night’s awards gala!

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