For the first time ever, students from Maine competed in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held this year in Pittsburgh, Penn. Meagan Currie of Greely High School in Cumberland and Sam Wood of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham traveled with their teacher/mentors and parents to represent Maine at this competition.
The Society for Science and the Public, which hosts the fair, picks the 1,500 most promising researchers from a pool of over 7 million students from around the globe to come together each year and compete for over $3 million in prizes and scholarships. Since the first Intel fair more than 50 years ago, Maine students have never been eligible to compete, until now. The Jackson Laboratory team and the director and co-director of this year’s Maine State Science Fair, Billie Cunningham and Dr. Randy Smith, have worked hard over the last two years to make the Maine state fair an official affiliate of Intel ISEF.
Smith said of the students, “This may lead them to a career where they can work on solutions to society’s most pressing problems. For a student interested in science, this competition is like winning a place in the Olympics; a chance to compete with the best of the best from all over the world.”
As part of its mission, the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor offers a wide range of education and training programs, including summer and academic-year programs for high school and college students.