Regeneron Science Talent Search

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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 Regeneron Science Talent Search, known for its first 57 years[1] as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and then as the Intel Science Talent Search from 1998 through 2015,[2] is a research-based science competition in the United States for high school seniors. It has been referred to as "the nation's oldest and most prestigious" [3] 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."[4]


The Society for Science & the Public began the competition in 1942 with Westinghouse Electric Corporation; for many years, the competition was known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. In 1998, Intel became the sponsor after it outbid several other companies.[5] In May 2016, it was announced that Regeneron would be the new title sponsor.[6] Over the years, some 147,000 students have entered the competition. Over 22,000 have been named semifinalists and 2,920 have traveled to Washington, D.C., as contest finalists. Collectively, they have received millions of dollars in scholarships and gone on, in later years, to capture Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals, MacArthur Fellowships and numerous other accolades.[7]

Eight went on to receive Nobel Prizes, two earned the Fields Medal, five have been awarded the National Medal of Science, twelve received MacArthur Fellowships; 56 have been named Sloan Research Fellows; 30 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; and five have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.[7]


Entrants to the competition conduct original research—sometimes at home and sometimes by "working with leading research teams at universities, hospitals and private laboratories."[1] 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.

Awards in 2017[8]
Award Prize
First Place $250,000
Second Place $175,000
Third Place $150,000
Fourth Place $100,000
Fifth Place $90,000
Sixth Place $80,000
Seventh Place $70,000
Eighth Place $60,000
Ninth Place $50,000
Tenth Place $40,000
30 Finalists $25,000
300 Semifinalists $2,000

Each year, approximately 1,800 papers are submitted. The top 300 applicants are announced in mid-January and since 2017 each semifinalist and their school receives $2,000 from the title sponsor.[9] 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 up to $250,000 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). All Finalists receive awards of at least $25,000.[8]


Since the beginning of the competition, students from New York have done very well in the Science Talent Search, although there have been finalists from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Certain high schools have been particularly successful at placing semifinalists and finalists in the Science Talent Search.

Top states[edit]

New York has had by far the most finalists in the competition, followed by California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. [10][11]

Top states for Intel finalists (1942–2017)
State Finalists
New York 975
California 272
Illinois 173
Pennsylvania 121
New Jersey 114
Maryland 113
Florida 111
Massachusetts 93
Virginia 92
Texas 88
Ohio 87

Leading high schools in recent era[edit]

Reliable online records of the high schools attended by semifinalists and finalists are only available since 1999, when Intel took over sponsorship of the Science Talent Search, although there are newspaper articles naming the finalists from earlier years.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] In this recent era, several schools have consistently produced a large number of semifinalists and finalists. Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD and Stuyvesant High School in New York, NY have produced the most winners over this time period and are the only schools averaging more than 10 semifinalists each year and more than 1 finalist each year.

Ten schools, all of which are public schools (Stuyvesant High School, Montgomery Blair High School, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Ward Melville High School, Bronx High School of Science, Paul D. Schreiber High School, Byram Hills High School, Jericho High School, Great Neck North High School, and Great Neck South High School), have had semifinalists in every year since 1999.[24][10][25][26][27][11]

Schools with the most semifinalists and finalists (1999–2017)
School City State Semi-finalists Finalists
Montgomery Blair High School Silver Spring MD 201 36
Stuyvesant High School New York NY 185 22
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Alexandria VA 158 12
Bronx High School of Science Bronx NY 144 10
Ward Melville High School East Setauket NY 135 12
Paul D. Schreiber High School Port Washington NY 90 6
Byram Hills High School Armonk NY 86 16
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Denton TX 86 11
The Harker School San Jose CA 79 13
Jericho High School Jericho NY 79 9
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Durham NC 74 3
Great Neck North High School Great Neck NY 65 7
Ossining High School Ossining NY 64 3
Bergen County Academies Hackensack NJ 61 8
Midwood High School Brooklyn NY 50 5
Lawrence High School Cedarhurst NY 49 3
Great Neck South High School Great Neck NY 48 5
Illinois Math and Science Academy Aurora IL 46 9
John F. Kennedy High School Bellmore NY 43 4
Lynbrook High School San Jose CA 31 5
Greenwich High School Greenwich CT 29 5
Hunter College High School New York NY 29 3

List of prominent individuals who were past finalists[edit]

Finalist[7] Year Placed[10] High School Notability
Robert Kraichnan 1944 2nd boy National Academy of Sciences
Ben Mottelson 1944 Finalist Lyons Township High School 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics
Andrew Sessler 1945 Finalist Forest Hills High School National Academy of Sciences
Leon Cooper 1947 Finalist Bronx High School of Science 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics
Martin Karplus 1947 Top Boy Newton High School 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Ronald Breslow 1948 Finalist 1991 National Medal of Science
R. Stephen Berry 1948 Finalist East High School 1983 MacArthur Fellowship, National Academy of Sciences
Walter Gilbert 1949 Finalist Sidwell Friends School 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Sheldon Glashow 1950 Finalist Bronx High School of Science 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics
Paul Cohen 1950 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 1966 Fields Medal
David Mumford 1953 Finalist Phillips Exeter Academy 1974 Fields Medal
Joanna Russ 1953 Top Ten William Howard Taft High School Hugo and Nebula Awards, author of The Female Man
Marcian Hoff 1954 Top Ten Churchville-Chili Senior High School 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Roald Hoffmann 1955 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Leroy Hood 1956 Finalist Shelby High School 2011 National Medal of Science
Robert Axelrod 1961 Finalist Evanston Township High School 2012 National Medal of Science
Gary A. Wegner 1963 Finalist Bothell High School Humboldt Prize
Ray Kurzweil 1965 Finalist Martin Van Buren High School 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Frank Wilczek 1967 Finalist Martin Van Buren High School 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
Roger Y. Tsien 1968 1st Place Livingston High School 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Eric Lander 1974 1st Place Stuyvesant High School 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
F. Thomson Leighton 1974 2nd Place Stuyvesant High School National Academy of Sciences, Akamai Technologies co-founder and CEO
Paul Zeitz 1975 1st Place Stuyvesant High School 1974 USAMO Winner
George Yancopoulos 1976 Top Ten Bronx High School of Science National Academy of Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals co-founder and CSO
Richard H. Ebright 1977 Finalist Muhlenberg High School American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Lisa Randall 1980 1st Place Stuyvesant High School National Academy of Sciences
Brian Greene 1980 Finalist Stuyvesant High School The Elegant Universe author
Noam Elkies 1982 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 2004 Levi L. Conant Prize
Wendy Chung 1986 1st Place Miami Killian High School American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award
Jordan Ellenberg 1989 2nd Place Winston Churchill High School American Mathematical Society Fellow
Matthew Headrick 1990 1st Place University of Chicago Laboratory Schools High h-index/highly cited physicist
Maneesh Agrawala 1990 Finalist Montgomery Blair High School 2009 MacArthur Fellowship
Christopher Bouton 1992 Finalist Saint Ann's School (New York City) Entagen founder and CEO
Wei-Hwa Huang 1993 6th Place Montgomery Blair High School World Puzzle Champion 1995, 1997-1999
Robert Sarvis 1994 4th Place Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Libertarian politician
Jacob Lurie 1996 1st Place Montgomery Blair High School 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics
Keith Winstein 1999 4th Place Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 2014 SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Feng Zhang 2000 3rd Place Theodore Roosevelt High School 2012 NIH Director's Pioneer Award
Mariangela Lisanti 2001 1st Place Staples High School 2013 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
Tianhui Michael Li 2003 2nd Place Oregon Episcopal School Marshall Scholar, Hertz Foundation Fellow, data scientist, founder and CEO of The Data Incubator[28]


  1. ^ a b "Finalists Named in 57th Annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search" (Press release). PR Newswire. January 26, 1998. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  2. ^ Hardy, Quentin (Sep 9, 2015). "Intel to End Sponsorship of Science Talent Search". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Ramírez, Eddy (February 1, 2008). "Stuyvesant High School Students Ace the Intel Competition". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  4. ^ Huler, Scott (April 15, 1991). "Nurturing Science's Young Elite: Westinghouse Talent Search". The Scientist. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  5. ^ "Intel Corp. To Sponsor Annual Science Contest". Education Weekly. 1 April 1998. 
  6. ^ Pierson, Ransdell. "Biotech Regeneron replaces Intel as sponsor of Science Talent Search". Reuters. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c "Science Talent Search Alumni Honors". Society for Science and the Public. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Teen Scientist Researches New Approach to Neurological Damage; Wins Regeneron Science Talent Search 2017". Society for Science and the Public. 14 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Hardy, Quentin (May 26, 2016). "Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to Sponsor Science Talent Search". New York Times. p. B2. 
  10. ^ a b c "Science Talent Search Through the Years". Society for Science & the Public. 1942–2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Regeneron STS 2017 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 24 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "40 Top High School Scientists Gather in Washington". Associated Press. Mar 4, 1989. 
  13. ^ "NY Schools Lead Nation in Westinghouse Science Finalists". Associated Press. Jan 26, 1990. 
  14. ^ "Minutes of the Board of Education" (PDF). Montgomery County Board of Education. May 8, 1990. 
  15. ^ Nieves, Evelyn (Jan 25, 1991). "50 Westinghouse Years, 50 New York Triumphs". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Berger, Joseph (Jan 29, 1992). "Stuyvesant Shines Again in Westinghouse Awards". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "In a Minority District in Maryland, A Magnet School That Really Draws". The New York Times. Mar 3, 1993. 
  18. ^ "Westinghouse Science Contest Honors 14 New York Students". The New York Times. Jan 24, 1994. 
  19. ^ "L.I. Youth Among Winners In National Science Contest". The New York Times. Mar 14, 1995. 
  20. ^ "Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalists Arrive in Washington". PR Newswire Association. Mar 8, 1995. 
  21. ^ "Science talent search names 40 finalists". Science Service. Jan 27, 1996. 
  22. ^ Belluck, Pam (Jan 28, 1997). "Long Island Dominates Science Contest". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ "The 40 Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalists". The New York Times. Jan 27, 1998. 
  24. ^ Schank, Hana (12 March 2015). "Science Fairs Aren't So Fair". The Atlantic. 
  25. ^ "Science Talent Search Past Results". Internet Wayback Machine: Society for Science & the Public. 1999–2007. Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. 
  26. ^ "Past STS Results". Internet Wayback Machine: Society for Science & the Public. 2004–2009. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Regeneron STS 2017 Scholars". Society for Science & the Public. 2017. Retrieved 4 Jan 2017. 
  28. ^ "Alumni to watch: Michael Li & The Data Incubator". 

External links[edit]