Intel Drops Funding for Science Competition: How it Affects Ward Melville Research


Thomas Howell, Staff Writer

The Intel Science Talent Search is the most prestigious pre-college science competition and has existed for over 80 years. Thousands of high school students from around the country participate each year, devoting countless hours to an innovative project and submitting their work to the competition. Several Ward Melville students have been named semifinalists, a rank achieved each year by only 300 students in the entire country, and some have even achieved the rank of finalist, a titled shared by only 40 students nationwide each year.

Unfortunately, this competition is danger of shutting down due to funding complications. A change in corporate objectives has prompted Intel to decide against funding the competition after 2017, much to the dismay of students across America and former Intel CEO, Craig Barrett. Barrett was “surprised and a little disappointed” at Intel’s decision. The Society for Science and the Public, the non-profit organization that oversees the competition, has put out a Request for Proposal, asking companies to step up to fund the program with $6 million annually in order to continue the competition. Corporations have until November of 2015 to commit to funding the program, and as of now, no company has publicly announced its willingness to support the competition.

With November approaching rapidly, many are wondering whether a large company like Apple, Google, or Facebook will volunteer to fund this worthwhile program, or if the competition will disintegrate. If the competition is not funded, and the program halts after 2017, future generations of students will miss out on a great experience and an opportunity to learn and grow as a scientist and researcher.