Jessica: From a teenager looking to fight cancer…
Jennifer Chan: You want a drug that kills the breast cancer cells, but you also want a drug that will continue to work.
Jessica: …To another working with proteins…
Jonah Kallenbach: Proteins – proteins sort of do everything in the cell. They’re kind of like the – they’re, like, the most basic kind of molecule you can have.
Jessica: …To a young woman who came up with a green way to power our cars.
Sara Volz: Algae produces oil that can be converted into this really wonderful renewable fuel.
Jessica: Those are just some of the forty high school seniors who gathered in Washington, D.C. this week to compete in this year’s Intel Science Talent Search. They are the best of the best from around the country. And you could say these students are committed to their work.
Sara: Actually, all of my work I do in my room. I have a loft bed and I’ve set up my sort of algae lab underneath with a ton of flasks and my microscope and bubbling. So, it’s really become a large part of my life. And it’s something I really love.
Jessica: These teens, who make geek look good, were competing for $630,000 in awards and the prestige that goes along with them, including meeting U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
After several days of presentations, the teens got to attend a gala and find out the winner of the top award.
Announcer: From Colorado Springs, Colorado and Cheyenne Mountain High School, Sara Volz!
Jessica: Sara Volz won for her project on biofuel, taking home a cool $100,000 cash prize.
Sara: Definitely wasn’t expecting this. In my dream of dreams, I was maybe pulling for 10th. So, I’m so surprised! Like, I feel like there were so many deserving people. And, like, all the people who I’ve gotten to meet this week are so smart and their projects are so amazing that I’m really stunned and honored and amazed!
Jessica: Intel says past competitors have gone on to win more than a hundred top honors in science and math, including seven Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science, even an Academy Award.
Julian, back to you.
- Why are Intel competitors interested in topics like cancer and algae?
- What are the benefits of entering a competition like Intel’s, whether or not you win?