It’s a word that can inspire angst for even the most experienced parents. They’re rowdy, rebellious, rambunctious, and generally difficult to deal with. But if you’d been in our nation’s capital just yesterday, you’d have seen the word “teenager” carry a completely different connotation – incredibly talented, inspiring, and just downright amazing.
This past week, we brought together 40 of the brightest high school seniors from across the United States for the Intel Science Talent Search, a program of the Society for Science and the Public. They spent the week together displaying their brilliance to the public, the prestigious panel of judges and at the White House to President Obama.
Each year, the Intel Science Talent Search honors 40 young scientists, many of whom have gone on to receive some of the world’s most prestigious honors. To date, alumni have been awarded seven Nobel prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and even an Academy Award for Best Actress.
This year’s winners are no less impressive. Sara Volz, 17, of Colorado Springs, Colo., won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for her research of algae biofuels. Second-place honors and $75,000 went to Jonah Kallenbach, 17, of Ambler, Pa., whose bioinformatics study breaks new ground in predicting protein binding for drug therapy. Third-place honors and $50,000 went to Adam Bowman, 17, of Brentwood, Tenn., who successfully designed and built a compact and inexpensive, low-energy, pulsed plasma device.
Over the past 14 years, we’ve invested not our only our financial in the program but our hearts and souls and we think it shows. This is not just a feel good corporate sponsorship (although it does make me feel good); it makes good sense. Education is the foundation for innovation, and the key to reaching our company’s vision: to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.
These teenagers are more than just scientists. They’re leading the next generation of innovators to take on – and solve – some of the toughest problems confronting our world.
Learn more about what we’re doing to make sure our future is a bright one.