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Talented high school physics students from around the world flocked to Philadelphia, PA, in May to take part in the world's largest pre-college science competition: the 50th Annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The APS, in conjunction with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), contributed to the more than $2 million in scholarships and prizes that were awarded. Each year the Intel ISEF brings together more than 1000 students from all 50 states and 47 nations to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, and scientific fields trips. Finalists emerge from a field of about one million high school students who competed in local fairs. The grand prize: a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden.
The APS sponsored prizes at ISEF for the first time last year with the AAPT, and this year the two societies once again awarded three top prizes in physics plus three honorable mentions. In addition to monetary awards, all winners received a one-year AAPT membership and one-year APS student membership, and a certificate from both societies. The first place APS/AAPT award of $1000 went to Christopher Cook of Palm City, FL, for his project on Phase IV gravity waves. The second place award of $400 went to David Moore of Potomac, MD, for performing quantum calculations to determine electrical properties for molecular rectifying diodes. And the third place award of $300 went to Han-Chih Chang of Chang-hwa City in Chinese Taipei, for a project on Couette flow of ferrofluid with added particles in magnetic fields. Chang was also honored in the "Best Of" category in physics. In addition, there were three honorable mentions: Alexander Wissner-Gross of New Hyde Park, NY; Kurt Mitman of McLean, VA; and Gregory Studer, Christopher Billman, and Travis Thatcher of Coopersburg, PA.
The ISEF event was founded in 1950 by Science Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of science among people of all ages through publications and annual programs. ISEF is the only high school global science fair representing all life and physical science-from astronomy to zoology.
For a complete list of the awards presented at the 1999 Intel ISEF, along with photographs, see http://www.intel.com/education/isef. For more information about the ISEF program itself, see the Science Services Web site at http://www.sciserv.org.
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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette