Intel Not Interested in Science Contest

Some readers are probably reading my post title above and thinking that my point is, “Look how hypocritical Intel is, claiming a STEM shortage but not supporting U.S. high school science!” But actually, the full title is, “Intel Not Interested in Science Contest — and Neither Am I.”

Actually, I wrote a Bloomberg op-ed on this topic a couple of years ago. A short summary would be “The Intel contest is not what you think it is, and in fact it is largely a gaming of the system by well-connected kids and their parents.” My guess is that Intel finally realized this too, and decided to pull out. I applaud that decision.

By the way, around 2013 I wrote 6 or 7 Bloomberg op-ed pieces, many at their invitation. The above link, used to show the complete collection, but now only the piece on the Intel science contest remains. Since many of the articles concerned H-1B, on which my views are antithetical to those of Bloomberg, the possibility of censorship suggests itself. Maybe so, maybe not, but in any case, I am grateful to my editor, Katy Roberts, for running the pieces and indeed asking me to write many of them.

4 thoughts on “Intel Not Interested in Science Contest

  1. Rich kids gaming the system? Shocking! How could it be? (Laughter)- my SAT scores got me into Berkeley but I am still pissed that kids at Beverly Hills High had a semester class of how to take the SAT. A plus for Intel, to counter some of the negatives.


  2. I recall that 30 years ago, when viewing a list of each year’s winners, I concluded that the STS competition used a “quota” system. The Top 40 had a distinctly New York City flavor. Most were sons or daughters of local scientists.

    Here in Tennessee, my rural H.S. had a kid who entered the STS but did not place in the Top 40. His paper was an original contribution to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Apparently there was no quota that year for Tennessee high schools.


  3. My “recipe” for how to become a prize winner at the 1969 International Science Fair was lots of hard work over 3 years while I was a high school student at a public school with considerable resources – Troy High School in Fullerton, CA. I recall a judge telling me that my research report was comparable to that produced by his science students who were senior-level undergraduates. I believe that my process was aligned with the original goals of the International Science Fair organizers – before the “Westinghouse Schools” gained preeminence.

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