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Connect A Million Minds: Talent Search Gets Scientific In Nation's Capital

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The next generation of scientific leaders are competing for top honors at the annual Intel Science Talent Search. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.

At the Intel Science Talent Search in Washington D.C., one student's research could change the way we generate electricity, while another student's findings could transform the way robots move on earth and in space.

"I created a new and more efficient robotics navigation algorithm that can plan safe paths for robots," explains Kensen Shi, an Intel Science Talent Search finalist from A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas.

Behind the science are some of the nation's brightest students, all selected as finalists in this year's Intel Science Talent Search.

Society for Science and the Public has been organizing the annual competition since 1942, partnering first with Westinghouse and most recently with Intel.

"The judges are looking for these students abilities to connect the dots, to connect the fields, to understand the future of science," says Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director of the Intel Foundation.

More than 1,700 high school seniors entered the talent search, but only 40 made the cut as finalists. They gathered at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C. to display and present the research.

The first place winner walks away with $100,000 in scholarship money. Finalist and Harvard bound Stuyvesant High School student Jamie Lee Solimano hopes her research can lead to earlier detection of a group of diseases by focusing on just one part of the cell.

By observing maybe one abnormality or one disruption in the cell we can try to track how that, what consequences that has on the rest of the cell," explains Solimano.

Though the students spent many a days and nights working on their research alone, this leg of the competition is open to the general public, giving the finalists a chance to share their knowledge with more than just judges and journalists.

Annette McGee brought her grandchildren to the show. Her 11-year-old grandson Savier Klein has a passion for engineering.

"I can see like what they really did in person. So to see what they got, what they had problems with," says Klein.

Winners will be announced Tuesday.

For more information on science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in your community, go to connectamillionminds.com.

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