Intel Competition Is Where Science Rules and Research Is the Key

Joseph Berger:

The Intel is more than a gimmicky contest that garners publicity for its chipmaker sponsor. It genuinely prompts hundreds of students to plunge into vanguard research. This year, 1,705 students from 487 schools in 44 states entered, said Katherine Silkin, the contest’s program manager. High school seniors in the United States and its territories enter the Intel, though their research often begins years earlier.
Six winners of the Westinghouse, as Intel was known until 1998, have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. Its springboard power is particularly important when Americans fret that colleges are no longer producing as many graduates willing to make the financial sacrifices of lives in science.
“Not only do we have to have equity and close the famous achievement gap,” said Leon M. Lederman, a Nobel-winning physicist who is co-chairman of the Commission on 21st Century Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “We also have to have innovation if we’re going to survive, so you have to nurture the gifted kids.”