University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

North Dakota students earn awards at International Science and Engineering Fair

Tanner John Coppin from Hankinson, Vahid Fazel-Rezai from Grand Forks, and Caleb Kyle Meyer from Hope were awarded prizes at the Grand Awards Ceremony at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2011 on May 13 in Los Angeles. The Intel ISEF is a program of Society for Science & the Public. North Dakota’s winners earned the right to compete at the Intel ISEF 2011 by winning top prizes at the state fair held at UND on April 8.

This year, more than 1,500 young entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists were selected to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school science research competition. They were selected from 443 affiliate fairs in 65 countries, regions and territories, including for the first time France, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Macao SAR of the People's Republic of China. More than 400 finalists received awards and prizes for their groundbreaking work.

“We champion the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because we believe that math and science are imperative for innovation,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. “This global competition features youth trying to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through science.”

North Dakota’s award winners:

  • Tanner John Coppin, 17, Hankinson High School, Hankinson, North Dakota
    Grand Award
    Plant Sciences
    Third Award ($1000)
    “The Agricultural Impact of Curlycup Gumweed on Barley Cultivars”
  • Vahid Fazel-Rezai, 14, Red River High School, Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Grand Award
    Fourth Award ($500)
    “Mathematical Flowers: Patterns in Dots Generated by Intersection Points”
  • Caleb Kyle Meyer, 16, Hope-Page Public School, Hope, North Dakota
    Special Award
    Society of Experimental Test Pilots
    Honorable Mention
    “Natural Selection”

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists are evaluated on-site by hundreds of judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.

“We congratulate the top winners for having the drive and curiosity to tackle these significant scientific questions,” said Elizabeth Marincola, president of Society for Science & the Public. “Their work, and the work of all of the finalists at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, demonstrates what students can accomplish when they are inspired to pursue inquiry-based research.”

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777-2733,

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