At the end of June, CERN hosted the visit of 13 pre-college students who won "Best of Category" awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this spring in Reno, US. The young students spent four days at CERN, visiting the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) facility and enjoying a range of presentations.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world's largest international pre-college science competition and annually provides a forum for more than 1500 high-school students from more than 50 countries to showcase their independent research. The Intel ISEF organizer – Society for Science and the Public – partners with Intel, along with dozens of other corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors. The partners provide support and awards each year. The Intel ISEF encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions, using authentic research practices. In fact, despite their young age, the 13 students were already well acquainted with science.

The students won Best of Category awards in fields as diverse as cellular and molecular biology, computer science, Earth and planetary science, electrical and mechanical engineering, environmental management, microbiology, medicine and health, and materials and bioengineering. In physics and astronomy, Nilesh Tripuraneni did research on "a relativistic generalization of the Navier-Stokes equations to quark-gluon plasmas".

Thomas H Osburg, director of Europe corporate affairs for Intel Corporation, was present at CERN to meet the students and to discuss education activities. He stated that: "Supporting tomorrow's innovators is a priority for both Intel and CERN, and I am glad that this co-operation complements what we do jointly in research and technology."

Prior to their visit, the students already had contact with CERN through Jim Virdee, CMS experiment spokesperson, who attended the Intel ISEF in Reno this year and gave the keynote speech at its Grand Opening Ceremony. Wolfgang von Rüden, head of CERN openlab, who accompanied the students during their stay at CERN, explained: "When Craig Barrett visited CERN in January we talked about ISEF. I proposed a visit to CERN as an additional prize to some of the best students, which Craig immediately accepted. We were very impressed by the highly competent students and their interaction with us. We enjoyed the visit as much as they did."

Since the start of CERN openlab in January 2003, Intel and CERN have not only been collaborating on scientific projects but also on educational activities. Every year, young IT students participate in the CERN openlab Summer Student Programme to work on the joint projects and attend lectures given by CERN experts and openlab partners. Workshops on advanced topics are also jointly organized to disseminate the knowledge created through these projects.

Useful links

Visit programme: http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=62155
CERN openlab news: http://cern.ch/openlab-news
More information about the winners and the organization: www.intel.com/education/ISEF/ and www.societyforscience.org/ISEF/