SSEF Wins at ISEF: High School scientists from around the world win nearly $8 million in awards, scholarships at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Society for Science announced that Robert Sansone, 17, of Fort Pierce, FL, won the $75,000 top award in the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), the world’s largest global high school competition, for a project that explored high-efficiency alternatives to induction motors. Other top prizes went to projects in the fields of energy storage, biomedical engineering and robotics. 

The top winners were honored during two hybrid award ceremonies, the first of which took place on the evening of May 12 and featured Special Award winners. The Grand Awards Ceremony was held on the morning of May 13 and featured the announcement of the top prize of $75,000. In total, awards valued at nearly U.S. $8 million were awarded to the finalists, who were evaluated based on their projects’ creativity, innovation and level of scientific inquiry. The competition featured 1,750 young scientists representing 49 states and 63 countries, regions and territories across the world. 

Robert Sansone won first place and received the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award, named in honor of the pioneering drug discoverer and Regeneron co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer. Robert’s research improved the torque (force) and efficiency of synchronous reluctance motors, which are rugged, efficient, magnet-free alternatives to traditional induction motors. He hopes his research will lead to sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require magnets made from strategically important rare-earth elements. 

Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, 17, of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, received one of two Regeneron Young Scientist Awards of $50,000 for modifying a metal-organic material so it could be used to both extract hydrogen from water and safely store it for clean energy production. Because the materials he added are relatively inexpensive, his work could significantly reduce the cost of hydrogen extraction and storage. 

Rishab Jain, 17, of Portland, Oregon, received the second Regeneron Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for developing an AI-based model to enable rapid and cost-effective production of drugs, such as recombinant COVID-19 vaccines, using synthetic DNA engineering. His model is trained to optimize the selection of genetic codes in DNA.

“Congratulations to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 winners,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. “Every single Regeneron ISEF finalist has shown true dedication, passion, and grit. Their commitment to their research, and perseverance throughout the continued challenges of COVID-19 are an inspiration to us all. We are eager to watch the impact they are sure to make in their communities and chosen fields.” 

Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. Founded on the belief that advances in science are key to solving global challenges, Regeneron ISEF supports and invests in the next generation of leading STEM thinkers who are generating ideas and acting as catalysts for the change needed to improve the well-being of all people and the planet.  

“These exceptionally talented Regeneron ISEF finalists are some of the brightest minds from around the world and our greatest hope for addressing global challenges in the future,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Science is critical to the survival of our society, and these finalists have limitless potential to make a positive impact on the world. I congratulate them for their hard work and am eager to see what they achieve in their scientific journeys.” 

For the first time since 2019, ISEF finalists competed in person. More than half of the finalists gathered in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center and the remaining finalists participated virtually. 

Other top honors from the competition include: 

Napassorn Litchiowong, 17; Chris Tidtijumreonpon, 16; and Wattanapong Uttayota, 17, of Mueang Chiang Mai, Thailand received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $50,000 for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations for their creation of a faster and more accurate way to diagnose a type of liver fluke infection that can lead to bile duct cancer in humans. The team built and trained neural network software to identify the parasite’s eggs in microscopic fecal images with 98% accuracy and then developed a rapid screening questionnaire that was 91% accurate. 

Amon Schumann17, of Berlin, Germany, received the Craig R. Barrett Award for Innovation of $10,000 for developing balloon-borne, light-weight solar-powered instruments that transmit aerial images, telemetry and climate data to a website he created. His device can stay aloft for several weeks circumnavigating the Earth at a consistent altitude and greatly reduces instrumentation costs. 

Rebecca Cho17, of Jericho, New York, received the H. Robert Horvitz Prize for Fundamental Research of $10,000 for creating a geological model that incorporates the effects of changing landscapes, climate, sea level and erosion. Her model can be used to investigate ecological changes over 20 million years in the western U.S. and potentially predict the effects of climate change on the area’s biodiversity. 

Anika Puri17, of Chappaqua, New York, received the Peggy Scripps Award for Science Communication of $10,000 for her low-cost machine learning software that can analyze night-time infrared videos taken by a drone flown over the African wilderness to spot elephant poachers in real time. In tests, her $300 system worked with 91% accuracy, a fourfold improvement over current systems, without needing high-resolution thermal cameras that can cost up to $10,000. 

More information about the top winners and visual assets can be found at  

Asmi Kumar, 18, of Milton, Georgia; Emirhan Kurtulus, 18, of Istanbul, Turkey; and Joshua Shunk, 17, of Gilbert, Arizona received the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award, which provides the finalists with an all-expense paid trip to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, which includes attendance at the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Varun Madan, 17, of Orlando, Florida; and Saan Cern Yong, 16, and Shen Ze Yeoh, 15, both of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, received the EU Contest for Young Scientists Award, which is presented to two projects that will represent Regeneron ISEF at the EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held in Leiden, Netherlands, September 12-18, 2022.   

For a full list of finalists who won awards, please visit HERE and HERE.  


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The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS), a program of Society for Science, is the nation’s
most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Alumni of STS have made
extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science
and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
Each year, 300 Regeneron STS scholars and their schools are recognized. From that select pool of
scholars, 40 student finalists are invited to participate in final judging, display their work to the public,
meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000

Boca Raton                               Florida Atlantic University High School
                                                    Willis, Devin, 18
                                                    SlideMap: A Flexure Based Approach to Automating Digital Pathology Cancer
Fort Lauderdale                      Pine Crest School
                                                   El‐Sharif, Maya Wael, 17
                                                   Understanding the Regulation of Food Consumption in Drosophila melanogaster
Miami                                       Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
                                                   Finger, Tali, 18
                                                   A Genomic‐Based Investigation of Repetitive Behaviors Across Four
                                                   Neurodevelopmental Disorders Using a Machine Learning Approach
                                                  Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
                                                  Odzer, Michael Noah, 18
                                                  Identifying and Overcoming Environmental Factors Affecting the use of
                                                  Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in Wildlife Studies of Chelonia mydas
Ocala                                        Vanguard High School
                                                  Shar, Andy, 15
                                                  Novel Fabrication and Implementation of Copper and Silver Plasmonic
                                                  Nanostructure Coated Foil as a Spectrally Selective Absorber in Highly Efficient
                                                  Solar Steam Generation Under One Sun Illumination
Oviedo                                     Oviedo High School
                                                  Santra, Laboni, 17
                                                  Optimized 3D‐Printed Microneedle Devices for the Delivery of New Therapeutics
                                                  to Citrus Phloem Tissue
Plantation                               American Heritage School
                                                   Mishra, Roshni, 18
                                                   Expression of Anti‐Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans
                                                   Using CRISPR‐Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

65th State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida – Suspended Due to Corona Virus

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We have made the decision to suspend this year’s 65th State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida. 

Under current global and regional health circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 viral epidemic, we have determined that it is not in the best interests of the public health of Florida’s citizens to conduct this year’s SSEF.  The risks to more than 950 student finalists, their families, schools, communities, and the more than 800 adult volunteers that support the event, are far too great to justify this year’s SSEF.  This event brings together representatives of every age and every region of the state, and the close person-to-person contact during the 3-day event provides for unimpeded viral transmission.

We appreciate all of the hard work that the student finalists, teachers, mentors, and others have accomplished this year.  The regional science and engineering fairs of Florida were all a great success and we congratulate all the competitors and the winners who received a bid for the 65th SSEF of Florida.

We know that most students and adults will be disappointed with our decision, but we trust everyone will understand that it was made with the best interests of our population in mind.

Bill Herschleb, Chair, Florida Foundation for Future Scientists

Florida Community Builds Pipeline Of Stem Leaders With Annual Science Competition

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LAKELAND, Fla. (March 8, 2018)– Florida Foundation for Future Scientists (FFFS) continues their longstanding commitment to stimulating student, teacher and public interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with the 63rd State Science Engineering Fair of Florida (SSEF) March 27-29 2018 in Lakeland, FL.

More than 900 aspiring engineers, scientists and mathematicians from across Florida will compete in the SSEF STEM Competition. Students have an opportunity to win $1.2 million in awards, prizes, scholarships and internships. The top senior projects will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering (ISEF) STEM Competition in Pittsburgh to represent SSEF. Florida is the single largest state present at the Intel ISEF with 93 finalists winning 23 place awards in 2017 – including 3 Best in Category and one Best in Fair Grand Prize Winner of $50,000.

“We are excited about entering the 63rd STEM competition season. Our goal is to recognize scientific talent in young people. They are making our planet more sustainable and livable. SSEF provides a unique opportunity to motivate students to learn. The students excitement to share their research proves that notion. ” says Nancy Besley, Exec. Dir. Florida Foundation for Future Scientists

The efforts to introduce more students to careers in STEM through SSEF cannot take place without the help of the community. This year, the SSEF STEM Competition is setting its sights on reaching more students and showing more businesses how their monetary donations have a positive impact on the growth of SSEF and the opportunities they provide to Florida students. 

About State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida- STEM Competition

 The SSEF– STEM Competition is the largest academic competition in the state of Florida and has touched the lives of many students, teachers, and adults since its inception in 1957. SSEF is a three-day display of science research project exhibits prepared by aspiring scientists and engineers in grades six through twelve.  More than 55,000 students are involved at local school and regional levels before being selected to compete at the SSEF and other affiliated competitions. The SSEF is regulated by the guidelines and policies of ISEF.

For more information or to donate online, visit  

Media Contact: Nancy Besley, Executive Director- 407-473-8475 –

Join our Social Circle:  Twitter: @FloridaSSEF |Facebook: ssefflorida| Instagram: ssefflorida

Broadcom MASTERS Announces Top 300 Middle School Students in STEM Competition

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Top 300 out of Nearly 2,500 Nominees Compete for a trip to Washington, DC and $100,000+ prizes

WASHINGTON, DC – September 6, 2017– Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the selection of the Top 300 competitors in the seventh annual Broadcom MASTERS® — the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.
The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS (formerly referred to as semi-finalists) represent middle schools from 37 states, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense overseas. Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS include an approximately equal number of males and females, with 147 girls and 153 boys. The states fielding the most Top 300 competitors include California with 66, Florida with 31 and Texas with 21.

The students’ names and a state-by-state breakdown of the Top 300 can be found at
The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS were selected from a pool of 2,499 applicants from 49 states and 4 territories. These competitors were evaluated by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. The students were judged on creativity and originality of their science fair project, their ability to engage in analysis of data, and understanding of STEM principles as they relate to the real world. The 2,499 applicants were nominated to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS by placing among the top 10 percent of middle school competitors at Society-affiliated regional and state science fairs.

“I’m thrilled to see the Society reach a record number of applicants this year. In order to ensure a robust pipeline of STEM talent, it is vital that we start as early as middle school to encourage students to deepen their interest in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I offer my congratulations to our Top 300 MASTERS.”

The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS’ independent STEM research projects include a broad range of innovative topics such as:

  • Making combat vehicles safer from blasts
  • Preventing Zika
  • Using predator-prey mathematical models for regulating the growth of harmful algae
  • Using magnetism to clean up oil spills
  • Harvesting solar energy and body heat using thermoelectric generators
  • Using Artificial intelligence to improve wind power
  • Investigating whether altering the microbiome can cure peanut allergies
  • Analyzing the effect of ocean acidification on sea life
  • Creating a wearable device to monitor health conditions

“The Broadcom MASTERS inspires students from all walks of life to follow their passion for science, math, engineering and innovation,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “We are excited to see almost equal numbers of boys and girls in the final pool – a tribute to their middle school teachers, parents and STEM-minded friends who mentor them and encourage their participation in this important national competition.”

In recognition of their achievements, Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS will receive a prize package containing an award ribbon; semifinalist certificate of accomplishment; Broadcom MASTERS backpack; a Broadcom MASTERS decal; an Inventor’s Notebook, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation; a one year subscription to Mathematica+ software, courtesy of Wolfram Research; and a one-year family digital subscription to Science News magazine. In recognition of the role that teachers play in the success of their students, each designated teacher also will receive a copy of the Science News for Students Invention and Innovation compilation book, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation; and a Broadcom MASTERS tote bag and a one-year digital subscription to Science News magazine.

The 30 Broadcom MASTERS Finalists will be announced on September 20. Finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC from October 20 – 25 to showcase their science fair projects at Union Station and compete in a four-day STEM competition for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes, including the coveted $25,000 Samueli Prize. Other top awards include the $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation and the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention.

Saftey tips for watching the solar eclipse!

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Are you ready for #Eclipse2017? Make sure to be safe while viewing!

NASA has a great site devoted to Solar Eclipse safety which can be accessed at The page also contains a number of links with interactive maps, live streaming and other useful tools for instruction.

The day of the eclipse is a great learning opportunity for students and adults, but many may be unaware of the dangers. Even looking directly at a small part of the eclipse is too dangerous, as the normal squint response will not occur and the eye will be exposed to dangerous amounts of UV light. The cornea will focus the light and actually scorch the retina. The most concerning part to me is the fact that there is no pain involved with retinal damage. By the time the damage is done it is too late. So being focused on making administrators, teachers and students aware is crucial.

Another amazing source:

Congratulations to the 3 Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalists from Florida!!

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The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Science Talent Search alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.

Students are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community.

On January 4, the Society named the top scholars (formerly called semifinalists) of the Regeneron STS. Each scholar and their school were awarded $2,000. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $1.8 million in awards, including the top award of $250,000.

Read the official press release

Read a blog post on Medium by George Yancopoulos, Founding Scientist, President, Regeneron Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron; Science Talent Search 1976 Alum.

View the full list of Scholars

Madan, Vrinda
Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, FL
Identification of Highly Selective Anti-malarial Compounds and Characterization of Mechanisms of Action

Wan, Stefan
Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
Functionalizing Biochar with Mg-Al and Mg-Fe Layered Double Hydroxides for Phosphate Removal from Aqueous Solutions

Yang, Amber Zoe
Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, FL
Orbital Recognition System for Space Debris Tracking Using Artificial Neural Networks—A Journey from Inner-brain GPS to Outer-space GPS

Broadcom MASTERS 2016 Finalists

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The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (the Society) announced on September 20 the selection of 30 middle school students as finalists in the 2016 Broadcom MASTERS® competition.

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (the Society) are proud to announce the selection of 30 students as finalists in the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS®– the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students.
The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) winners will be named on November 1 in Washington, DC, after completion of a rigorous competition that tests their abilities in STEM subjects, teamwork and collaboration. Congratulations to these 30 finalists, and to the 2,343 outstanding applicants for sharing their work this year.

Finalist Overview:

  • The finalists include 15 girls and 15 boys covering 15 states and representing 28 schools and one home school. California has the most finalists with eight, followed by Florida and Georgia with three, and two each from Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Virginia.
  • Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from among 300 semifinalists and 2,342 applicants representing 49 states and 4 U.S. territories.
  • Read the press release.

Read the entire story and get the list of finalists HERE

River Grace wins first prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.

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The European Commission today awarded top prizes to 45 young scientists for their outstanding science projects. Cash prizes totalling €49 500 were handed out at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists award ceremony in Brussels, along with other valuable prizes such as science trips to Europe’s leading research laboratories.

The three first prizes were awarded to Ane Espeseth (18) and Torstein Vik (17) from Norway for “Motivic Symbols and Classical Multiplicative Functions”, Valerio Pagliarino (16) from Italy for “LaserWAN: laser broadband internet connection” and River Grace (17) from USA for “Shining a Light on the Blind: Evolutionary Regression and Adaptive Progression in the Micro-vertebrate Ramphotyphlops braminus, a Model for Understanding Brain Organization and Complex Neurological Disorders”. The second prizes went to projects from Germany and Canada, in the areas of computing, physics and medicine. The three third prizes were given to projects from Ireland, Czech Republic and South Korea. A detailed list is available online.

Read the entire story and get the list of finalists HERE

41 Florida students named Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalists.

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Some facts about the 2016 Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalists:

  • Semifinalists hail from 250 middle schools in 37 states and represent 126 regional and state science fairs across the U.S.
  • 54 of the semifinalists are from California, followed by Florida with 41, Texas with 29, New York with 17, and Pennsylvania with 16.
  • Semifinalists were selected from more than 6,000 nominees and 2,343 applicants. Each application received three independent readings and evaluations by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Nominees qualified to enter the Broadcom MASTERS by being among the top 10 percent of the participants at their Society-affiliated science fairs.
  • Read the press release for more information.

Read the entire story HERE