Tonight in Washington DC, 17-year old Nithin Tumma received a $100,000 award recognizing him as this year’s winner of the Intel Science Talent Search. His work may yield new pathways for combating cancer.
Andrey Sushko of Richland, Washington, took second place with a 7-millimeter motor powered by the surface tension of water. Mimi Yen took third place studying intriguing behavior among male worms. In all, the forty finalists in this competition took home $600,000 in awards (more on the winners here).
Which of them might win a Nobel Prize some day? Hard to say – the seven alumni Nobel Laureates to date have come from many areas of study, and not all have been among the top winners. But we do know that the 40 finalists assembled here this week are well on their way to becoming science game changers. They are talented, brilliant, passionate, and they are able to communicate that passion and the science they care so deeply about to others in terms we can all understand – a necessary talent for an aspiring scientist. (Hard to convince others to support – and fund! – your great ideas if they can’t understand them…)
Andrey recently applied for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s smallest model sail boat. Nithin started a research club for middle school students. Other finalists are varsity sports team captains, editors of their schools’ literary magazines, and even a Homecoming King.
We are so proud on behalf of everyone at Intel to have a role in encouraging and celebrating these wonderful students, and we are committed to improving the quality of STEM education in the US and around the world. We are equally committed to encouraging as many students as possible – especially young women and students from other under-represented groups – to pursue careers in these fields.
Whether we think selfishly in terms of Intel’s need for talented young engineers and scientists to ensure our own future success, or think more broadly about the critical needs for STEM talent to solve the great challenges that face our world, it is absolutely clear to us that investing in these young students, and highlighting them as an inspiration to others, is one of the best investments that Intel can make.
So… Who will be the winner of the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search? You? One of your children? Someone you know? Make sure they know about the opportunity to apply, and encourage them to roll up their sleeves and do some real science starting today.
Even better – find a student who could use the support of a mentor as they launch their science career, and offer them your advice and support. Either way, you can make a real difference for all of us – just as someone else made a difference for Nithin, Andrey and Mimi.
For more information about Intel’s education initiatives, follow @Intelinvolved on Twitter.