It’s an amazing confluence of cultures and languages cutting across continents with diverse social and religious backgrounds, and connecting them was a single passion — science.

Astonishingly talented students have gathered at the Phoenix Convention Centre here for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2013 to showcase their innovative ideas, and how they could create an impact on human well-being, translating the ideas into reality.

Participants have astonished visitors and academics by presenting some remarkable concepts. No wonder, just over a thousand high school students were selected from lakhs of aspirants from over 70 countries.

Providing solutions

The selected projects are not just about complicated technology or complex science but about providing solutions to human problems and needs, including tackling cancer, developing communication method for the hearing and visually impaired, creating energy from organic waste and predicting earthquakes, among others.

Executive Director of Intel Foundation Wendy Hawkins says that about 25 per cent of the projects have already been patented by the participants, indicating the quality and acceptability of the innovations. “In fact, some judges admit that they are better than their own Ph.D works,” she told reporters.

The research findings are showcased on poster boards and the competing students explain their concepts enthusiastically to visitors, judges and journalists throughout the day reflecting their passion for innovation.

Eight Indian students, including three each from Delhi and Karnataka and one each from Orissa and Kolkata, are part of the prestigious event. Their projects focus on developing a tool to differentiate between artificially and naturally ripened fruit, enhancing vision for low-vision patients, getting maximum acoustic output using new algorithms and dissection of a square into several equal squares.

The participants are competing for the nearly $3-million prize money, apart from scholarships and a grand prize of $ 75,000 in cash in 17 categories, including computer science, animal sciences, molecular biology, earth science, environmental science and plant sciences.

(The journalist is covering the conference on the invitation of Intel).