Angela Chen ’23 and Paarth Tara ’22 point out their names on the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) “Big Board” of finalists.


NCSSM students compete at 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

Research students from both the NCSSM residential and online programs competed with success at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held May 7-13 in Atlanta. This was the first time the competition had been conducted as a hybrid event, and NCSSM students attended in person and online. The competition featured 1,750 young scientists representing 49 states and 63 countries, regions, and territories across the world.

Students were selected to participate in this competition through a variety of local and state competitions. At NCSSM, residential students participated in the Region 3B local fair, organized by NCSSM physics instructor Dr. Jonathan Bennett. Some of the winners of that competition then competed in the North Carolina state competition, and winners were invited to the international competition. Two students, Angela Chen and Paarth Tara, were selected directly to participate in the international competition.

Students competed in 22 categories for almost $8 million in cash and scholarships. NCSSM’s biggest winner was Angela Chen, who came home with three awards for a total of $2,125 in both the Special Awards and Grand Awards competitions. Online junior Jay Nimbalkar was the biggest monetary winner, with a $5,000 prize in the Special Awards competition.

Organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Drexel University, the Office of Naval Research, and the American Meteorological Society gave out a number of “special” awards. Students participated in the Special Awards ceremony on Thursday night. NCSSM Special Award winners were: 

In the Grand Awards competition, awards were given for first through fourth place in each of the 22 categories. NCSSM’s winners, presented at the Grand Awards ceremony on Friday morning, were:

Two of the students attending in person, junior Angela Chen and senior Paarth Tara, along with chaperones Dr. Heather Mallory (NCSSM Biology) and Bob Gotwals (NCSSM Computational Science), were invited to meet with Maya Ajmera, NCSSM ’85 and President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. The Society is the organizing entity for the ISEF competition.