One of those students went on to be a semifinalist in both the Siemens National Science Competition and the Intel STS National Talent Search. Ryan Chow of Leland High School in San Jose, CA, presented work from his internship in the lab of Irv Weissman, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
Chow and the other high school science fair competitors are among those Bill Nye (the Science Guy) referred to in his post on the White House blog this week about the importance of training the next generation of scientists. Nye attended the second White House Science Fair on February 7, which included 100 students from 40 competitions invited by President Obama to display their projects. Nye wrote:
For the United States to remain the world leader in technological innovation, we need more engineers and more scientists. We need more people, who can do math, design software, and create new applications for machines that have yet to come into existence.We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re expanding our high school program, called the Creativity Awards, for this upcoming summer. Our governing board will vote on which applications to fund at the March meeting in Sacramento.
If we choose not to engage in fundamental research—not to pursue new technologies and systems, not to discover new properties of numbers and atomic structures, not to explore the oceans and outer space—we leave that work to others, to emerging countries, who have seen from the outside what science and technology can do for a society.