Amy Chyao takes top spot in science competition

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Last week I reported that the Intel Science and Engineering Fair was underway. I love what this event does to encourage the entry of young folks from all over the world into our fair professions. I also love that females — so often underrepresented in our professional lives — seem to dominate the event. Last year all three top finishers were female.

This year’s first place goes to Amy Chao

2010 ISEF winnersAmy Chyao, 15, of Richardson, Texas, was awarded first place for her work to develop a photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy (PDT), an emerging cancer treatment which uses light energy to activate a drug that kills cancer cells. Amy received $75,000 and the Gordon E. Moore Award, given for the first time in honor of Intel co-founder and retired Chairman and CEO.

My science fair project tested the efficacy of various antacids. Also, there was construction paper. And a bar chart.

Rounding out the top three winners at the ISEF were Kevin Ellis and Yale Fan

Other top honors went to Kevin Ellis, 18, of Vancouver, Wash. and Yale Fan, 18, of Beaverton, Ore., each of whom received $50,000 from the Intel Foundation. Kevin developed a method to automatically speed up computer programs by analyzing the programs while they are running so that work could be divided across multiple microprocessors. Yale’s project demonstrated the advantages of quantum computing in performing difficult computations.

Did I mention construction paper? No glitter though…probably cost me. According to Intel 1,611 kids from 59 countries competed in the ISEF this year. More about this year’s fair here.


  1. I wonder how many years has Amy participated in the UTD (the University of Texas at Dallas) science research program with a PH. D. scientist’s, her mentor, support?

    How did Amy get selected by the Plano ISD science department to go to the UTD research program for her science fair projects two years in a row?

    If we are interested in doing our science fair projects at the UTD lab with a mentor’s support, whom should we contact?

    Plano Williams High School science teacher or the district told Amy about the UTD science lab. But we are the students in west Plano, who’s the teacher in charge of the information in west Plano?

    Amy, please share some info with us! Thanks!

  2. Deepnarayan Choubey says

    Happy day ! Great works. Thanks.

  3. wow, she goes to my school (williams high). good-luck amy!