May 2013 | Society for Science

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May 2013

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May 2013, Issue 4 volume 4

Intel ISEF 2013 top three award winners; (L to R) Eesha Khare, Ionut Budisteanu, and Henry Lin. Credit: SSP, Laura Buitrago.

Romanian Teenager Wins Big at Intel ISEF with Low-Cost, Self-Driving Car Innovation

Ionut Budisteanu, 19, of Romania was awarded first place for using artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.

With 3-D radar and mounted cameras, Ionut created a feasible design for an autonomously controlled car that could detect traffic lanes and curbs, along with the real-time position of the car – and it would only cost $4,000. He received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.

Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, Calif. received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000. With the rapid adoption of portable electronics, Eesha recognized the crucial need for energy-efficient storage devices. She developed a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds. Eesha’s invention also has potential applications for car batteries.

Henry Lin, 17, of Shreveport, La. also received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000. By simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies, Henry has provided scientists with valuable new data, allowing them to better understand the mysteries of astrophysics: dark matter, dark energy and the balance of heating and cooling in the universe's most massive objects.

Read about the rest of the top winners here or view the full list of Grand Awards and Special Organization Awards.


Janet Raloff, Senior Editor of Science News for Kids, will moderate a panel, Toddlers to Techies: Getting an Early Jump on STEM at the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference in Austin, TX.


The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed all three of SSP's education competitions: Intel Science Talent Search, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and Broadcom MASTERS on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2013-2014. 


Sara Volz, Intel STS 2013

More than 1,600 finalists attended this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Check out the photos of the event on Facebook or Instagram!

alumni updates


Twelve Broadcom MASTERS nominees, semifinalists, and finalists were invited to Marvel's Iron Man 3 Inventor and Innovation Fair, where they met the movie's star, Robert Downey, Jr.

Do More 24


Do you live in the greater Washington, DC metro area? SSP is participating, along with other local nonprofits and charities in Do More 24, a 1-day online fundraising effort coordinated by the United Way of the National Capitol Region. Do More 24 takes place on June 6, 2013 and is focused on raising support for nonprofits located in the greater Washington, DC area. Visit SSP's Do More 24 webpage for more information or to donate!

Hands-on Research Critical Element of the New Next Generation Science Standards

In my role as president of Society for Science & the Public, I'm often invited to speak to the leaders of science fairs in countries that participate in SSP's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. I'm frequently asked, albeit politely, why the biggest economic powerhouse in the world is doing relatively poorly in the area of science education.

The answer is complicated, but education policy experts generally agree on the culprit: we tend to constrain instructors to teach objectively measurable facts, limiting their freedom to encourage discovery and creativity and instead rewarding them for "teaching to the test." Complicating the picture, each of our 50 states, with different priorities and values for education, controls the structure, funding, and politics of education.

Read the rest of Marincola's Huffington Post blog on the release of the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Future: Powered by Fiction


Intel Futurist, Brian David Johnson, announced a new science fiction writing competition for youth ages 13-25 at the Intel ISEF 2013 opening ceremony.

The Tomorrow Project, in collaboration with SSP, Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination, and the Intel Foundation, is hosting "The Future: Powered by Fiction." The worldwide competition will feature stories, essays, videos, and comics.

Highlights from Science News

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It’s important to make wise choices when selecting pets, like this leopard gecko lizard. Amphibians, reptiles and small rodent pets can harbor bacteria called Salmonella. Credit: iStockphoto

Highlights from Science News for Kids 

  • Infectious animals:
    Critters spread many germs that can sicken each other- and even kill people
  • 'Print' almost anything:
    3-D printers allow people to build almost anything they can imagine- from toys to food, buildings to body parts
  • Microscopic caffeine fiends:
    Researchers create a bacterium that can't live or reproduce without a stimulant found in soft drinks, chocolate, coffee, and tea
Science News for Kids | Sign-up for the weekly SNK E-Blast

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