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Intel Awards Student Scientists at 2012 International Science and Engineering Fair

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair awarded prizes to a number of innovative student projects this year, including a simple new way to test for pancreatic cancer, and projects on microsearch and quantum teleportation.

For the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, more than 1,500 students from 70 countries competed, after being selected from 446 associated science fairs. The projects were judged by 1,200 scientists, "each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of 6 years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines," according to a statement from Intel.

First place, and the Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000, was awarded to Jack Andraka, 15, of Crownsville, MD. Andraka created a dipstick sensor that tests a patient's blood or urine to detect if that patient has pancreatic cancer in its early stages. According to Intel's statement, Andraka's study, which was based on a diabetic test paper, "resulted in over 90 percent accuracy and showed his patent-pending sensor to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests."

Two other top prize winners, Ari Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, VA, and Nicholas Schiefer, 17, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, each received a $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award.  Dyckovsky did an experiment on how information is transferred at the quantum level between atoms. Schiefer did a study on how search engines search small pieces of web content, such as Tweets and Facebook status updates. Schiefer calls the ability to search this type of content "microsearch."

There were also 17 "Best In Category" awards--a $5,000 prize for each student winner, and a $1,000 grant for the regional science fair that student represents. And more than 400 other finalists at the fair received other prizes and awards.

The nonprofit Society for Science & the Public has owned and administered the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair since it began in the 1950s under the name the National Science Fair. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is funded equally by Intel and the Intel Foundation.

For more information about the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, visit societyforscience.org/isef, or intel.com.

About the Author

Caitlin Moriarity is a freelance technology writer based in St. Louis, MO. She can be reached at clmoriarity@gmail.com.

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