Regeneron Science Talent Search
CountryUnited States
Website Edit this on Wikidata
The 2002 Intel Science Talent Search finalist banquet held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., where the ten winners were announced and all 40 finalists were acknowledged

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, known for its first 57 years[1] as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, and then as the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) from 1998 through 2016,[2] is a research-based science competition in the United States for high school seniors. It has been referred to as "the nation's oldest and most prestigious" [3] science competition. In his speech at the dinner honoring the 1991 Winners, President George H. W. Bush called the competition the "Super Bowl of science."[4]


The Society for Science began the competition in 1942 with Westinghouse Electric Corporation; for many years, the competition was known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. In 1998, Intel became the sponsor after it outbid several other companies.[5] In May 2016, it was announced that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals would be the new title sponsor.[6] Over the years, some 147,000 students have entered the competition. Over 22,000 have been named semifinalists and 2,920 have traveled to Washington, D.C., as contest finalists. Collectively, they have received millions of dollars in scholarships and gone on, in later years, to capture Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals, MacArthur Fellowships and numerous other accolades.[7]

Thirteen alumni of the Science Talent Search went on to receive Nobel Prizes, two earned the Fields Medal, eleven have been awarded the National Medal of Science, twenty received MacArthur Fellowships; three have won the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research; seven have won a Breakthrough Prize; and many have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.[7]


Entrants to the competition conduct original research—sometimes at home and sometimes by working with leading research teams at universities, hospitals and private laboratories.[8] The selection process is highly competitive, and besides the research paper, letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, extracurricular activities, and high school transcripts may be factored in the selection of finalists and winners.

Awards (as of 2023[9])
Award Prize
First place $250,000
Second place $175,000
Third place $150,000
Fourth place $100,000
Fifth place $90,000
Sixth place $80,000
Seventh place $70,000
Eighth place $60,000
Ninth place $50,000
Tenth place $40,000
30 finalists $25,000
300 semifinalists $2,000

Each year, approximately 2,000 projects are submitted. The top 300 STS Scholars are announced in mid-January and each receive $2,000. In addition to the scholar award money, each scholar’s school receives an award of $2,000 from the title sponsor for each scholar named.[10] In late January, the Top 40 Finalists (the award winners) are announced. In March, the Finalists are flown to Washington, D.C. for a week where they are interviewed by a judging panel about their projects, and to assess the breadth and depth of STEM knowledge, creativity and problem solving abilities. The judges have included Glenn T. Seaborg (Nobel Laureate with Edwin M. McMillan in Chemistry, 1951) and Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1993). The Top 40 Finalists receive awards of at least $25,000 and the winners are announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.[11]


The Science Talent Search is open to high school seniors living in the United States.[12] Since the beginning of the competition, a large number of winners have come from New York, representing nearly one-third of the finalists in the years that Westinghouse sponsored the competition.[13] New York has continued to lead the states in finalists in more recent years, more closely followed by California, and with significant numbers of finalists from Maryland, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and Illinois. [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Top states for finalists
State Total finalists Westinghouse (1942-1998) Intel (1999-2016) Regeneron (2017-2024)
New York 1030 752 215 63
California 323 163 103 57
Illinois 174 149 24 1
Pennsylvania 130 101 18 11
Maryland 125 65 45 15
New Jersey 124 87 24 13
Florida 122 84 24 14
Virginia 117 82 16 19
Massachusetts 106 68 24 14
Texas 103 54 32 17
Ohio 91 78 10 3
Wisconsin 60 48 9 3
Michigan 59 37 15 7
Oregon 59 30 20 9
Indiana 56 43 9 4
Connecticut 56 30 18 8

Certain high schools have been particularly successful at placing semifinalists and finalists in the Science Talent Search.[22] From the early years of the competition, two specialized high schools in New York City dominated the competition: Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant High School.[23][24][25] Other New York schools have also had notable success in the competition, including Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, Byram Hills High School in Armonk, Jericho High School in Jericho, and Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in Port Washington.[25][26][27] In the 1980s and 1990s, other specialized STEM schools, including Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and Maryland's Montgomery Blair High School, began to produce large numbers of finalists to rival the New York schools.[25][28][29][30] In the 21st century, a new group of specialized STEM schools have had growing success in the competition, including New Jersey's Bergen County Academies, and the private Harker School in California.[31][32]

List of prominent individuals who were past winners

Finalist[7] Year Placed[13] High School Notability
Evelyne Peace Tyner 1942 Finalist Environmentalist who conserved large areas of native prairie with a ecology centre named after her, awarded the LEED award.
Robert Kraichnan 1944 2nd boy National Academy of Sciences
Ben Mottelson 1944 Finalist Lyons Township High School 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics
Andrew Sessler 1945 Finalist Forest Hills High School National Academy of Sciences
Gerald Edelman 1946 Semifinalist John Adams High School 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Leon Cooper 1947 Finalist Bronx High School of Science 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics
Martin Karplus 1947 Top Boy Newton High School 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Ronald Breslow 1948 Finalist 1991 National Medal of Science
R. Stephen Berry 1948 Finalist East High School 1983 MacArthur Fellowship, National Academy of Sciences
Walter Gilbert 1949 Finalist Sidwell Friends School 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Sheldon Glashow 1950 Finalist Bronx High School of Science 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics
Paul Cohen 1950 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 1966 Fields Medal
John L. Hall 1952 Semifinalist South High School 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
David Mumford 1953 Finalist Phillips Exeter Academy 1974 Fields Medal
Joanna Russ 1953 Top Ten William Howard Taft High School Hugo and Nebula Awards, author of The Female Man
Marcian Hoff 1954 Top Ten Churchville-Chili Senior High School 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Roald Hoffmann 1955 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Leroy Hood 1956 Finalist Shelby High School 2011 National Medal of Science
Donald Knuth 1956 Semifinalist[33] Milwaukee Lutheran High School 1974 Turing Award, 1979 National Medal of Science
Kip Thorne 1958 Semifinalist Logan High School 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
Charles H. Bennett 1960 4th Place Croton-Harmon High School 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Robert Axelrod 1961 Finalist Evanston Township High School 2012 National Medal of Science
Gary A. Wegner 1963 Finalist Bothell High School Humboldt Prize
Paul L. Modrich 1964 Semifinalist Raton High School 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Ray Kurzweil 1965 Finalist Martin Van Buren High School 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Frank Wilczek 1967 Finalist Martin Van Buren High School 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
Alvin Roth 1968 Semifinalist Martin Van Buren High School 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics
Roger Y. Tsien 1968 1st Place Livingston High School 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Gordon J. Freeman 1969 Finalist Arlington Heights High School National Academy of Sciences
Thomas Felix Rosenbaum 1973 Finalist Forest Hills High School President, California Institute of Technology
Eric Lander 1974 1st Place Stuyvesant High School 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
F. Thomson Leighton 1974 2nd Place Stuyvesant High School National Academy of Sciences, Akamai Technologies co-founder and CEO
Paul Zeitz 1975 1st Place Stuyvesant High School 1974 USAMO Winner
George Yancopoulos 1976 Top Ten Bronx High School of Science National Academy of Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals co-founder and CSO
Richard H. Ebright 1977 Finalist Muhlenberg High School American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Ron Unz 1979 1st Place North Hollywood High School Wall Street Analytics founder; political activist
Lisa Randall 1980 1st Place Stuyvesant High School National Academy of Sciences
Brian Greene 1980 Finalist Stuyvesant High School The Elegant Universe author
Noam Elkies 1982 Finalist Stuyvesant High School 2004 Levi L. Conant Prize
Wendy Chung 1986 1st Place Miami Killian High School American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award
Jordan Ellenberg 1989 2nd Place Winston Churchill High School American Mathematical Society Fellow
Matthew Headrick 1990 1st Place University of Chicago Laboratory Schools High h-index/highly cited physicist
David R. Liu 1990 2nd Place Riverside Poly High School National Academy of Sciences
Maneesh Agrawala 1990 Finalist Montgomery Blair High School 2009 MacArthur Fellowship
Christopher Bouton 1992 Finalist Saint Ann's School (Brooklyn) Entagen founder and CEO
Wei-Hwa Huang 1993 6th Place Montgomery Blair High School World Puzzle Champion 1995, 1997-1999
Robert Sarvis 1994 4th Place Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Libertarian politician
Daniel Biss 1995 Finalist Bloomington North High School Mayor of Evanston, Illinois
Jacob Lurie 1996 1st Place Montgomery Blair High School 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics
Bill Thies 1997 Finalist State College Area High School 2016 MacArthur Fellowship
Keith Winstein 1999 4th Place Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 2014 SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Feng Zhang 2000 3rd Place Theodore Roosevelt High School National Academy of Sciences
Mariangela Lisanti 2001 1st Place Staples High School 2013 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
Tianhui Michael Li 2003 2nd Place Oregon Episcopal School Marshall Scholar, Hertz Foundation Fellow, data scientist, founder and CEO of The Data Incubator[34]
Lester Mackey 2003 6th Place Half Hollow Hills High School West 2023 MacArthur Fellowship

See also


  1. ^ "Finalists Named in 57th Annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search" (Press release). PR Newswire. January 26, 1998. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  2. ^ Hardy, Quentin (Sep 9, 2015). "Intel to End Sponsorship of Science Talent Search". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Ramírez, Eddy (February 1, 2008). "Stuyvesant High School Students Ace the Intel Competition". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  4. ^ Huler, Scott (1991-04-15). "Nurturing Science's Young Elite: Westinghouse Talent Search". The Scientist. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  5. ^ "Intel Corp. To Sponsor Annual Science Contest". Education Weekly. 1 April 1998.
  6. ^ Pierson, Ransdell (26 May 2016). "Biotech Regeneron replaces Intel as sponsor of Science Talent Search". Reuters. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Society Alumni Honors". Society for Science and the Public. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  8. ^ "America's Top 300 Teen Scientists Selected for Achievements in STEM Innovation and Leadership in Nation's Oldest and Most Prestigious High School Competition". Society for Science. 13 September 2023.
  9. ^ "Science Talent Search Awards". Society for Science. 13 September 2023.
  10. ^ "Science Talent Search Awards".
  11. ^ "Students Win More Than $1.8 Million at 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search for Remarkable Scientific Research on RNA Molecule Structure, Media Bias, and Diagnostics for Pediatric Heart Disease". September 2023.
  12. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Society for Science. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "Science Talent Search Alumni". Society for Science & the Public. 1942–2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  14. ^ "Regeneron STS 2017 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Regeneron STS 2018 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 23 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Regeneron STS 2019 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 23 January 2019.
  17. ^ "2020 Regeneron STS Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 22 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 20 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 20 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 24 January 2023.
  21. ^ "Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024 Finalists". Society for Science & the Public. 24 January 2024.
  22. ^ Schank, Hana (12 March 2015). "Science Fairs Aren't So Fair". The Atlantic.
  23. ^ Taffel, Alexander (1 May 1965). "Challenging the Gifted Bronx High School of Science". The Atlantic.
  24. ^ Nieves, Evelyn (Jan 25, 1991). "50 Westinghouse Years, 50 New York Triumphs". The New York Times.
  25. ^ a b c Berger, Joseph (7 March 2007). "Intel Competition Is Where Science Rules and Research Is the Key". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Belluck, Pam (25 January 1995). "At 15, Westinghouse Finalist Grasps 'Holy Grail' of Math". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Winerip, Michael (9 March 2005). "Want to Be an Intel Finalist? You Need the Right Mentor". The New York Times.
  28. ^ "In a Minority District in Maryland, A Magnet School That Really Draws". The New York Times. Mar 3, 1993.
  29. ^ Baker, Peter (18 January 1989). "Academic Contest Shows Winning's a Science at Jefferson High". Washington Post.
  30. ^ Wray, Herbert (September 1999). "Secrets of One of America's Best High Schools". ASEE Prism. Archived from the original on 29 Aug 2004.
  31. ^ Torrejon, Rodrigo. "Bergen County Academies student wins national science talent search". North Jersey Media Group.
  32. ^ Bloom, Jonathan (February 27, 2015). "San Jose high school students finalists in Intel Science Talent Search". ABC7 San Francisco.
  33. ^ "The Winners and Honorable Mentions in the 15th Annual Science Talent Search", p. 10
  34. ^ "Alumni to watch: Michael Li & The Data Incubator". 27 May 2016.