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Press Release

Intel International Science And Engineering Fair Awards Over $2 Million In Scholarships And Grants To Students From Over 47 Countries

Teens from Iowa, Florida and Virginia Take Top Honor at 50th ISEF

PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 1999 - The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest pre-college science competition, today recognized the world's brightest high school science and engineering students for their scientific achievements with over $2 million in scholarships and grants. The top all-around competitors at the Intel ISEF were: Feng Zhang, 17, from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa; Jennifer Pelka, 16, from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla.; and Nisha Nagarkatti, 17, from Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Va. Each received the Intel Young Scientist Scholarship award worth $40,000. They were chosen for their excellence in scientific research, ability to articulate their discoveries and their overall scientific promise.

For his project, entitled "Prevention of Retroviral Assembly by Expressing Mutant GFP-Capsid Fusion Genes," Zhang developed a therapeutic model that could potentially be used to prevent the formation of infectious retroviruses and stop the spread of the HIV virus.

Pelka's project in graph theory and Hamilton circuitry, "Hamiltonicity of Graphs of Self-Complementary Degree Sequences," applies in solving the human genome project. Through her research, she proved five mathematical theorems in discrete mathematics.

Nagarkatti's project entitled "Fas-Fas Ligand Interactions Play an Important Role in Successful Therapy of Cancer," is aimed at investigating more effective treatments of cancer. Through her research, Nagarkatti discovered a way to treat cancer cells while not effecting healthy cells.

Other awards from Intel and other organizations include:

  • Pinnacle Awards - In addition to the Intel Young Scientist Scholarship award:

    • Glenn T. Seaborg Nobel Prize Visit award recipients: James Lawler, 16, from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn. won for his project entitled "Dynamics of Energy Transformations at the Molecular Interface." His research developed a new mathematical model using micro-level interactions that could be used as an effective analytical tool for physical chemists trying to predict the large-scale effects of complex molecular interactions. Nisha Nagarkatti, 17, from Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Va. won for her project entitled "Fas-Fas Ligand Interactions Play an Important Role in Successful Therapy of Cancer." These students will travel to the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden in December 1999.

    • European Union Contest for Young Scientist award: Nicole Young, 17, and Summer Acevedo, 16, from Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Fla. for their team project entitled "Leukemia Prostatic Carcinoma and Breast Carcinoma via DNA Content, Marker Proteins, Ploidy, and Development of a New Diagnostic Scale," that studies a new way to diagnose different types of cancers using a genetic test. The science contest will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece in September 1999.

    • International Fair in South America award: John Keefner, 18, and Mark Hanhardt, 18, from Sturgis Brown High School in Sturgis, S.D. for their team project entitled "Zen and the Art of Diamagnetic Water Repulsion." Their research, which tried to determine if magnetic fields present around the superconductor would aid in the prevention of ice formation on the surface of the superconductor, could lead to the creation of the zero-gravity fields on earth. They will travel to Novo Hamburgo, Brazil for the fair in November 1999.

High-resolution photos of the Pinnacle Award recipients are available from Intel's online pressroom.

  • Intel ISEF Best of Category Awards-The following students received $5,000 awards for having the highest score in their project categories:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences - Derek Zanutto, 17, from Clovis West High School in Fresno, Calif. for his project entitled "Effects of Quinolinic Acid on Cognitive Processing."

  • Biochemistry - Feng Zhang, 17, from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa for his project entitled "Prevention of Retroviral Assembly by Expressing Mutant GFP-Capsid Fusion Genes."

  • Botany presented by the Environmental Protection Agency - John Korman, 15, from Riverside High School, in Greer, S.C. for his project entitled "Effect of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) Extracts on Tumor Induction in Potato Discs: Phase II."

  • Chemistry presented by the Rohm and Haas Company - James Lawler, 16, from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn. for his project entitled "Dynamics of Energy Transformations at the Molecular Interface."

  • Computer Science - Gabor Bernath, 15, from Deutsche Schule Budapest, Budapest, Hungary for his project entitled "ScanGuru: 3-D Scanner."

  • Earth and Space Sciences presented by Scientific American - Jay Michaels, 17, from Cocoa High School in Cocoa, Fla. for his project entitled "Using the WSR-88D to Detect Misocyclone Activity Over Central Florida."

  • Engineering - Jonathan Condit, 18, from Lake Charles, Louisiana (homeschooled) for his project entitled "Design and Construction of an Inexpensive Automated Device to Determine Atrial Fibrillation in the General Population."

  • Environmental Sciences presented the Environmental Protection Agency - Sirisha Kalicheti, 17, from Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Va. for her project entitled "Effect of Ion Concentrations in Gunston Cove (Potomac River) on Water Quality and Channel Catfish-I. punctatus, Tessellated Darter-E. olmstead, and Banded Killifish F. diaphanous."

  • Gerontology presented by the AARP Andrus Foundation - Eric Stern, 18, from Great Neck South High School in Great Neck, N.Y. for his project entitled "Alzheimer's Disease and ICAB: Enzymatic Activity in AB-induced Cytotoxicity."

  • Mathematics presented by the Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company - Matthew Ong, 18, from Cheyenne Central High School, Cheyenne, Wyo. for his project entitled "Searching for Difference Sets in Groups with Frobenius Image."

  • Medicine and Health presented by Merck Research Laboratories - Kapualokelanipomaika'I Katherine Medeiros, 17, from The Kamehameha Secondary School in Honolulu, Hawaii for her project entitled "Papaya Seed: Source of an Anti-Cancer Agent?"

  • Microbiology - Jeremy Farris, 17, from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga. for his project entitled "Biological Control of Kudzu: Phase II."

  • Physics - Han-Chih Chang, 17, from Chang-Hwa Senior High School in Chang-Hwa City, Chinese Taipei for his project entitled "Couette Flow of Ferrofluid with Added Particles in Magnetic Fields."

  • Zoology - AmyLyn Woolley, 17, from Mountain View High School in Bend, Ore. for her project entitled "Irregular Color Morovis in Heptacarpus paludicola Shrimp: Three-Year Study."

  • Team Project presented by Science News - Nicole Young, 17, and Summer Acevedo, 16, from Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Fla. for their project entitled "Leukemia, Prostatic Carcinoma, and Breast Carcinoma via DNA Content, Marker Proteins, Ploidy, and Development of a New Diagnostic Scale."

  • Best Use of a PC Award - Each of the following recipients of Intel's Best Use of a PC award will receive a state-of-the-art IntelŪ PentiumŪ III processor-based computer system:

  • Xing Zeng, 16, from Lower Canada College, Montreal, Canada for her project entitled "Hexosaminidase: A Locus-Specific Mutation Database and 3-D Modeling."

  • Catherine Havasi, 18, from Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville, Penn. for her project entitled "System of Feedforward Neural Networks for the Improved Despixelization of Enlarged Bitmap Images."

  • Gabor Bernath, 15, from Deutsche Schule Budapest, Budapest, Hungary for his project entitled "ScanGuru 3D Scanner."

  • Alexander Wissner-Gross, 17, from Great Neck South High School in Great Neck, N.Y. for his project entitled "Rapid Granular Fabrication of Nanocircuitry: Modeling a Novel Process for Macroscopic Control of Extended Nanoscopic Fullerene Structures."

The Program

This year nearly 1,200 high school students in grades nine through twelve from 47 countries participated in the Intel ISEF, often called the "Olympics" of science fairs. Nearly half of the participants were females, and twenty-two percent of the finalists are in the patent process. The student research projects are an excellent example of "inquiry-based" learning which employs a hands-on approach to teaching science: students learn through research and experimentation, not just through lectures and books.

The ISEF has been coordinated for the past 50 years by Science Service, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of science among people of all ages through publications and educational programs. In its third year as title sponsor, Intel has committed more than $3 million to developing and promoting this competition.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.

More Information Rule

  • Downloadable Photos of Pinnacle Winners from Intel ISEF 1999
  • Intel ISEF 1999 Virtual Press Kit
  • Intel and Education Web Site
  • Intel in Education Press Materials
  • Intel Education Press Releases
  • Education Photo Archive
  • Contact the Intel Press Relations Manager

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