Fifteen high school students from New York State have been named finalists in this year's Intel Science Talent Search, the nation's oldest and most prestigious high school science competition. That's the best showing of brainpower by any state with finalists in the competition, which is also known as the "junior Nobel Prize." Five of the finalists attend New York City public schools, including four who are seniors at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. The school—renowned for its advanced math and science programs—has more finalists in the competition than any school in the country.
The announcement, which came this week, seems to further solidify Stuyvesant's reputation as one of the best public high schools. Altogether, 40 seniors from 19 states are heading to Washington, D.C., for the final round of competition in March. Each will receive $5,000 and a laptop computer and will compete for the top prize of $100,000. The finalists were selected from a field of 1,602 applicants. In the final round, they will present their projects before some of the nation's leading scientists, who will decide the winner.
This year's projects include research that explores the relationship between nicotine, breast cancer, and the effectiveness of chemotherapy; the potential for microbial fuel cells to generate clean water and clean energy; and neurological changes to baby mice separated from their mothers.
The contest began in 1942 as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and since 1998 has been sponsored by Intel, the world's largest computer chip manufacturer. Six previous finalists have been recipients of the prestigious Nobel Prize.