First Maine high school students attend Intel Science Fair in Pittsburgh

Date: May 22, 2012
| Share

Bar Harbor, Maine—Meagan Currie of Greely High School in Cumberland and Sam Wood of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham have just returned to Maine from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, the first Maine students ever to participate in the world’s largest science fair.

In March Meagan and Sam won first and second place, respectively, in the Maine State Science Fair held at The Jackson Laboratory. Since taking over coordination of the Fair in 2010, the Laboratory’s education staff, working with Maine high schools, brought the Maine fair into compliance with Intel’s rules, thereby making Meagan and Sam eligible to compete in the international event.

“It was amazing to meet such a variety of kids, from New Yorkers to Saudi Arabians, all with a common interest in science,” Meagan said. “Everyone was fascinated by others’ projects, and eager to learn and exchange ideas. The entire experience made me so jazzed about continuing science.”

Sam added, “The Intel fair made me understand how important science is to our society and the important role research can play in shaping the future. It opened my mind to the endless possibilities of science, to what high school students can achieve, and it inspired me to explore those possibilities to the fullest.”
This year more than 1,500 top secondary students from 82 countries attended the Intel fair. Dr. Randy Smith, Jackson’s director of educational programs, commented, “When I tell Maine students about Intel, I explain that it’s not like getting a berth in the state football championship—it’s like getting picked for the Olympics.”

He added, “Meagan and Sam stood with hundreds of the best high school science researchers in the world, and they both intend to work to get back to Intel in the coming years. This team has opened a great opportunity for students from the State of Maine.”

Jackson-organized sponsorships covered all travel expenses for Meagan and Sam and their science-teacher mentors. Sponsors of the 2012 Maine State Science Fair included the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the Dorr Foundation, the Betterment Fund and The Bank of America Charitable Foundation. A new gift from the Jane’s Trust will help to support the 2013 Fair.

Two 2011 alumni of Jackson’s famed Summer Student Program also had success at the Intel fair. Lauren Reagin of Conyers, Ga., won second place in a special award presented by the Endocrine Society, and Danielle Keahi of Honolulu also won second place in her division.

As part of its mission, the nonprofit Jackson Laboratory, based in Bar Harbor, Maine, offers a wide range of education and training programs, including summer and academic-year programs for Maine high school and college students. Information is available online at

Note to editors: Photos of the students at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair are available on request.


Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058, The Jackson Laboratory

For information on automatic email delivery of news releases (journalists only), please send an email request for details to Please address other inquiries to

Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076