1,744 high school students entered the annual Intel Science Talent Search, each aiming for a share of the $1.2 million awarded in prize money this year. Evan O’Dorney, a seventeen-year-old from Danville, California, took home the grand prize of $100,000 for a project he completed involving complex mathematical algorithms. O’Dorney was able to determine which of two methods would be most accurate for determining the square root of an integer, a development that experts believe could prove useful for data encryption. Additional projects entered in this year’s fair included research into binary pairing of stars, wind turbine aerodynamics, and even the psychological effects of separating teenagers from their cell phones.
The Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit group aimed at promoting public interest in scientific research, has been running the contest for high school seniors since 1942. The Talent Search has received widespread praise and is the oldest science fair in the United States. The Society for Science & the Public’s webpage offers detailed results from the competition, including information about entered projects and photos of current and past finalists. To learn more about exciting local science fair opportunities, check out the incredibly successful Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair.
Written by: Walter Palmer