March 2013 | Society for Science

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March 2013

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Jonah Kallenbach (left) and Adam Joseph Bowman (right) join first place winner Sara Volz, to round out the top three places in the competition. Credit: Chris Ayers Photography/SSP

Students bring home big prizes for science projects

Sara Volz gasped in amazement when she heard her name called. The 17-year-old finalist had just been named the $100,000 grand-prize winner at the March 12 awards gala of the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search awards. She conducted an experiment that coaxed algae into boosting their production of oil for use in biofuel.

The Intel Foundation awarded second place and $75,000 to Jonah Kallenbach from Ambler, Pa. The 17-year-old figured out how to better predict how different drugs latch onto proteins. His work could suggest a new method for designing drugs that target specific molecules.

Third place and $50,000 went to Adam Joseph Bowman, 17, of Brentwood, Tenn., who constructed a plasma gun in his garage from parts he bought on eBay. He also designed an inexpensive fiber optics system to follow the plasma's movement.



Credit: Ikiwaner/Wikimedia Commons

The ability to metabolize ethanol might have arisen in the common ancestor of chimpanzees (shown), gorillas and humans as this ancestral ape became more terrestrial and started to eat fermenting fruits on the ground, a chemist proposes. Read more.


Water pours ashore as a tsunami strikes the east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Credit: Mainichi Shimbun/Reuters

Scientists are working to predict- and tame- the tsumanis that can threaten some coastal communities. Read more.



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alumni updates


Keith Winstein at his project at the Intel STS 1999. Credit: Keith Winstein

Keith Winstein, 3rd place winner of the Intel Science Talent Search 1999, gives tips to students about speaking to the media. Winstein has worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and is now back at MIT pursuing his PhD.  

Megha (2nd from right) and other members of her team at Broadcom MASTERS International. Credit: Megha Balachandra

Broadcom MASTERS International Delegate Is Inspired by Memorable Experience

Megha Balachandra, 14, from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, was one of 18 delegates selected to attend the first-ever Broadcom MASTERS International program in May 2012.

Broadcom MASTERS International is a companion program to the domestic Broadcom MASTERS that provides a unique opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to selected middle school students from around the world. Delegates participate in a program structured specifically for them, and participate in many activities of the Intel ISEF.

Click here to read Megha's blog post about her experience.

A volunteer assists students during Student Observer Day at Intel ISEF 2012. Credit: SSP, IML Photography

Volunteers Needed for Intel ISEF 2013 in Phoenix

May is just around the corner! The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair will be held May 12-17 in Phoenix, AZ. SSP seeks about 1,000 judges, 200 interpreters, and 500 general volunteers to participate in the event. Judges require a PhD, or a Masters' degree with six years of applicable experience. Interpreters and volunteers do not require scientific training.

Contact SSP for more information.

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This Asian weaver ant can dangle a weight more than 100 times heavier than itself without losing its grip on the surface above it. Credit: © Thomas Endlein

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