40 of Nation’s Brightest Young Minds Named Intel Science Talent Search 2015 Finalists


  • Forty high school seniors were named finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2015, a program of Society for Science & the Public.
  • Intel Science Talent Search tripled its top award money, replacing the single $100,000 top prize with three Medal of Distinction awards of $150,000 each.
  • Intel Science Talent Search recognizes the most promising young innovators in the United States who are creating the technologies and solutions that will positively impact people’s lives.
  • Finalists will convene in Washington, D.C. in March to compete for more than $1 million in awards from the Intel Foundation.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2015 – Intel Corporation recognized 40 U.S. high school seniors as finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science and math competition and a program of Society for Science & the Public.

The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and create technologies and solutions that will make people’s lives better. The 40 finalists receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. from March 5-11, where they will compete for more than $1 million in awards provided by the Intel Foundation.

Starting this year, the Intel Science Talent Search will feature a new awards structure that includes triple the top award money and new award categories. In place of the competition’s previous $100,000 top prize, three Medal of Distinction awards of $150,000 each will be presented to students who show exceptional scientific potential in three areas: Basic Research, Global Good, and Innovation. There are also three second-place awards of $75,000, and three third-place awards of $35,000.

“Intel invests in engineering, math and science education to support the next generation of innovators, who will create the products and services to enrich our daily lives,” said Justin Rattner, president of the Intel Foundation. “This year’s finalists – who are engaged in leading-edge scientific research and the creation of new technology to address global challenges such as renewable energy, cybersecurity and infectious diseases – prove that with the right education and resources, young people can indeed change the world.”

Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, has owned and administered the Science Talent Search since its inception in 1942.

“The 40 finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search are some of the best and brightest young scientists in the nation,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News. “As an alumna of the Science Talent Search, I am especially proud to join with Intel in congratulating the finalists on their successes and look forward to learning more about them and their research, both at the finals in March and as their careers progress.”

Intel Science Talent Search 2015 Fast Facts:

  • Intel Science Talent Search 2015 finalists are from 36 schools in 18 states. Fifty-two percent of this year’s finalists are male, while 48 percent are female.
  • The 40 finalists were selected from 300 semifinalists and more than 1,800 entrants based on the originality and creativity of their scientific research, as well as their achievement and leadership both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Finalist projects are distributed among 17 categories, including animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics and genomics, chemistry, computer science, earth and planetary science, engineering, environmental science, materials science, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, plant science, and space science.
  • Finalists’ research projects include a low-cost, portable device to detect blood diseases and parasites; an advanced encryption system with potential applications in cybersecurity; new research on the use of quantum dot solar cells as an alternative energy source; and a machine learning-based method to identify promising drugs to combat cancer, tuberculosis and Ebola.
  • For a list of this year’s finalists, visit https://student.societyforscience.org/intel-sts.

While in Washington, D.C., Intel Science Talent Search finalists will undergo a rigorous judging process, interact with leading scientists, display their research to the public at the National Geographic Society and meet with national leaders. Winners will be announced at a black-tie, invitation-only gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 10.

In the past, young innovators chosen to participate in the Science Talent Search have gone on to receive more than 100 of the world’s most prestigious honors. For example, Science Talent Search alumni have won eight Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science, 12 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and even an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Since assuming title sponsorship of the Science Talent Search 17 years ago, Intel has increased the competition’s annual awards and scholarships from $205,000 to more than $1.6 million to acknowledge and encourage achievement in these important subjects. Over the past decade, Intel and the Intel Foundation have invested more than $1 billion, and Intel employees have donated close to 4 million hours, toward improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in more than 100 countries, regions and territories.

To get the latest Intel Science Talent Search news, visit www.intel.com/newsroom/education, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org, and follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.


Gail Dundas          
Intel Corporation     

Sarah Wood
Society for Science & the Public

Olivia Campbell
North of Nine, for Intel