The 2002 Intel Science Talent Search finalist banquet, held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, where the ten winners were announced and all 40 finalists were acknowledged.
The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), known for its first 57 years as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, is a research-based science competition in the United States for high schoolseniors. It has been referred to as "the nation's oldest and most prestigious"  science competition. In his speech at the dinner honoring the 1991 Winners, President George H. W. Bush called the competition the "Super Bowl of science."
Entrants to the competition conduct original research—sometimes at home and sometimes by "working with leading research teams at universities, hospitals and private laboratories." The selection process is highly competitive, and besides the research paper, letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, extracurricular activities, and high school transcripts may be factored in the selection of finalists and winners.
Each year, approximately 1,700 papers are submitted. The top 300 applicants are announced in mid-January with each Semifinalist and their school receiving $1,000. In late January, the 40 Finalists (the award winners) are informed. In March, the Finalists are flown to Washington, D.C. where they are interviewed for the top ten spots, which have awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 for the first prize winner. The judges have included Glenn T. Seaborg (Nobel Laureate with Edwin M. McMillan in Chemistry, 1951) and Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1993). The remaining 30 Finalists also receive $7,500 awards.
Across the United States, 14 secondary schools have produced 20 or more semi-finalists over the years 2002-2010. 13 of the schools are public schools, and 9 out of the 13 are located in the greater New York area.
Secondary schools of finalists and semi-finalists (2002–2010)