Forty high school students, including seven Indian-Americans, have been named finalists for the Intel Science Talent Search 2008.
The Intel STS competition, often called the 'junior Nobel Prize', is said to be America's oldest and most prestigious high school science competition.
The finalists will travel in an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington in March to compete in a week-long event for individual scholarships, with the top winner receiving a $100,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation, a statement said adding, each finalist will receive at least $5,000 in scholarships and a laptop.
This year's Intel STS finalists hail from 19 states and represent 35 schools. New York boasts the most finalists from any state with 15, followed by Pennsylvania (4) and Texas (3), said the statement issued by the Intel Corporation, based in Santa Clara, California.
The seven Indian-American finalists are -- Avanthi Raghavan (Orlando, Florida), Shravani Mikkilineni (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan), Hamsa Sridhar (Kings Park, New York state), Ashok Chandran (Nesconset, New York state), Shivani Sud (Durham, North Carolina), Isha Jain (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and Vinay Venkatesh Ramasesh (Fort Worth, Texas).
The finalists' independent research projects include 'Further understanding of the relationship of nicotine to breast cancer chemotherapy efficacy', 'An economic study of the cross-influence of public and private funding for Iowa's public libraries', and 'The design and construction of affordable microbial fuel cells that could generate clean water and clean energy anywhere.'
Over the past 67 years, STS alumni have received more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honours, including six Nobel Prizes.
"2008 not only marks the 10th anniversary of Intel's sponsorship of the STS, but falling in a presidential election year, this competition highlights more than ever the importance of supporting math and science education in the United States," Intel chairman Craig Barrett said.
"Intel STS showcases the incredible advancements made by students across the nation when we get the system right and demonstrates the capabilities of the next generation," he added.