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Intel science contest picks 40 high school seniors as finalists

Chosen for their scientific prowess, the finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search will compete in March for the top prize of $100,000.

Here are the 40 finalists from the Intel 2012 Science Talent Search. Society for Science & the Public

Forty of the nation's best and brightest high school seniors have been chosen as finalists for Intel's 2013 Science Talent Search.

Offered by the Society for Science & the Public, the Intel-sponsored program chooses finalists based on several factors, including their own scientific research, their achievements, and their leadership, both inside and outside of school.

The competition asks students to come up with scientific solutions to answer questions and resolve problems that affect the entire world.

"This year's Intel Science Talent Search finalists are presenting a wide range of research, from optimizing algae oil for biofuel to developing a new treatment for blood cancer," Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation, said today in a statement. "It's exciting for the future of innovation because the U.S. needs these 40 high school seniors, and others like them, to question, explore and help solve some of the world's greatest challenges."

The 40 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., in March to compete for $630,000 in awards.

Finalists in past years have also had the opportunity to meet with the president and scientific leaders and show off their research projects at the National Geographic Society.

Winners across various categories will be announced on March 12. Those categories include bioengineering, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics and space science, behavioral and social sciences, and plant science. The top winner of the Talent Search will take home $100,000 from the Intel Foundation.

This year's 40 finalists were chosen from among 300 semifinalists and more than 1,700 entrants.

Over the past 72 years, participants in the Science Talent Search have gone on to win 7 Nobel Prizes, 2 Fields Medals, 5 National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, and even an Academy Award for Best Actress (Natalie Portman).