Following a week-long celebration of science at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Intel Corporation and the Society for Science & the Public announced the top award winners at this year’s competition.
Jack Andraka, 15, of Crownsville, Maryland, received top honors with the Gordon E. Moore Award and a USD 75,000 prize. Nicholas Schiefer, 17, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, and Ari Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, Virginia, each received an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of USD 50,000.
In addition, more than 400 Intel ISEF competitors received scholarships and prizes for innovative research presented at the competition. This included 17 "Best of Category" winners, as well as grants to the winners' schools and their Intel ISEF-affiliated fairs.
Intel ISEF awards included more than USD 3 million in scholarships and prizes.
Gordon E. Moore Award Winners
Jack Andraka, 15, of Crownsville, Maryland, was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for his development of a new method to detect pancreatic cancer. Using an approach similar to that of diabetic test strips, Jack created a simple dip-stick sensor to test the level of mesothelin, a pancreatic cancer biomarker, in blood or urine, to determine whether or not a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer. His study resulted in over 90 percent accuracy in detecting the presence of mesothelin. Further, his novel patent-pending sensor proved to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests. The Gordon E. Moore Award, in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman/CEO, includes USD 75,000 in scholarship funds.
Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award Winners
Runners-up honors went to two individuals named as Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winners. Each of these students received USD 50,000 in scholarship funds for their ground-breaking projects.
Nicholas Schiefer, 17, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, developed a model to improve the function of Internet search engines, allowing them to perform “micro-searches” – that is, ferret out information from small amounts of content such as tweets or Facebook status updates. Information from these abbreviated messages can be valuable, as in the case of accounts of unfolding news events. Through this research, Nicholas hopes to improve access to information.
Ari Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, Virginia, investigated the science of quantum teleportation. He discovered that once atoms are linked through a process called “entanglement,” information from one atom can simultaneously appear in another atom when the quantum state of the first atom is destroyed. Using this method, organizations requiring high levels of data security, such as the National Security Administration, could send encrypted messages long distances without risking interception because the information would not travel to its new location; it would simply appear there.