Teenagers Impress And Win Big At The Intel ISEF 2015


By Celeste Beley

The Intel International Science Fair 2015, a program of Society for Science and the Public, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, held finals in Pittsburgh, PA in May. Approximately 1,700 high school students from 75 countries competed for $4 million in prize money.

This year’s first place award, the Gordon E. Moore Award for $75,000, went to Raymond Wang, 17, of Canada. His project was to engineer a new air inlet system for airplane cabins that improved air quality and curbed disease transmission. His system improved the availability of fresh air by more than 190 percent and reduced pathogen inhalation concentrations by 55 times more than conventional designs. His design can be easily and economically incorporated into existing aircraft. 


Nicole Ticea, 16, also from Canada, received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientists Awards in the amount of $75,000. She developed an inexpensive, easy-to-use testing device to diagnose HIV infection particularly in low-income communities. Her device is disposable, requires no electricity, provides results in under an hour and costs less than $5 to produce. She already founded her own company, which recently received a grant to continue developing her technology.

The second recipient of the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award in the amount of $50,000 was Karan Jerath, 18 of Friendswood, TX. Karan refined and tested a device that should allow an undersea oil well to rapidly and safely recover from a blowout. His device included a better containment enclosure that separates the natural gas, oil and ocean water; accommodates different water depths, pipe sizes and fluid compositions; and can prevent the formation of methane hydrate.

For a full list of winners and their projects, visit www.societyforscience.org.

Extension Questions:

  • Review the full list of winners and their projects. Which of the winners do you think would have the greatest impact in your area and why?