On May 10th through 15th, more than 1,700 of the world’s most promising young scientists, engineers and mathematicians gathered in Pittsburgh to participate in the world’s largest pre-college science competition, the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
These young innovators represented the best of more than 7 million high school students who participated in science fairs around the globe during the year, having won top honors at local, regional and national science competitions to earn their place as finalists at Intel ISEF 2015.
For many of these high school students, their week in Pennsylvania was a life-changing event.
For some, it was their first time traveling far from home or their first time meeting other young innovators who are as passionate as they are about science, technology, engineering and math.
For others, it offered the chance to interact with and learn from college professors, distinguished professionals and even Nobel laureates in their fields of interest.
For all, it presented the opportunity to vie for more than USD 5 million in prizes and scholarships as finalists shared original research projects – including breakthrough technologies and potential solutions to some the world’s most vexing problems – with panels of esteemed judges.
Additionally, throughout the week, participants attended a range of talks and symposia on STEM subjects. Highlights included an opening rally featuring keynote speaker Luis von Ahn, college professor, entrepreneur and co-creator of Duolingo, the language learning platform named Apple’s iPhone App of the Year and Google Play’s Best of the Best in 2013 and 2014, and the Excellence in Science and Technology Panel, moderated by NPR science correspondent Joe Palca and featuring Nobel Prize winners Martin Chalfie, H. Robert Horvitz, John Mather and Harry Kroto.