Science Competition

April 24-26, 2015 - High School Students

The Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition encourages students to help humanity through scientific research.  High-schoolers submit research papers to be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges to select five finalists.  Finalists are invited to participate in a three-day, expenses-paid event, concluded by an awards luncheon to announce the “Ying Prize” of $5,000 to the student, $1,000 to their teacher and $1,000 to their principal!

Every year for over a decade, Dr. Nelson Ying hosts this competition in collaboration with the Orlando Science Center. Ying is a philanthropist, scientist and entrepreneur. He wants to inspire tomorrow's science leaders today, so he has worked with the Science Center to create this elite competition. This competition not only honors innovative student science research but also exemplary teens.


Dr. Ying Competition 2015 Information

Papers Due: 5:00 p.m. March 12, 2015
Finalists Notified: April 9, 2015
Competition Weekend: April 24 - 26, 2014


New this year! Papers will be submitted through our DROPitTOme Account - simply click on the link and type in “ying” for the password. More detailed information on how to submit your papers is located here:  DROPitTOme Instructions.


Please download and return the necessary completed forms:
Project Certification

Important: Once you have received a confirmation email, your project/paper is registered. If you have not received a confirmation email by Wednesday, March 25, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 407.514.2112.


This weekend is the 15th Annual Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition! Every day this week, we'll spotlight one of the five finalists.

We start with Sarah Van Sickle of Brevard County’s Satellite Beach High School. Sarah is a senior and a return competitor having being selected as a finalist last year.

Sarah Van Sickle


Bookmark and Share

17 Year-old Neel Patel Wins 14th Annual Orlando Science Center Competition

Plus All Finalists Take Home Cash Prizes


Orlando, FL - (April 30, 2011) – Neel Patel, a 17 year-old senior from Seminole County’s Oviedo High School, walked away with the top prize in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, an annual event hosted by the Orlando Science Center. Patel takes home a trophy, a $5,000 cash scholarship plus $1,000 awards for his science teacher and his school. In addition, cash prizes were distributed to all finalists, including a second prize award to 16 year-old Sarah Van Sickle from Brevard’s Satellite High School.

Since 1999, Philanthropist, Scientist and Entrepreneur Dr. Nelson Ying has worked with the Orlando Science Center to encourage the outstanding scientific accomplishments of our community’s teens. Patel’s research was a multi-year effort that focused on delivering information through sound rather than with graphs or charts to aid visually-impaired scientists or other professionals, like fighter pilots, who are overloaded with visual information. He discovered that people could comprehend data delivered through auditory patterns as accurately as they could through visual displays.

Involved with science research since sixth grade, Patel is also a dual enrollment student at the University of Central Florida, won multiple national and international awards served as lead author on multiple research papers. Outside of research, he enjoys competing in water sports and has earned the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America. He is planning on attending Harvard University in the Fall.


Bookmark and Share

Sarah is a junior at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Fla. Her favorite subjects include music, math and science. She plays guitar, piano and alto sax in her spare time and enjoys playing violin in the Satellite High School symphonic orchestra.  She also volunteers every week at the Satellite Beach Library and participates in beach cleanups. Sarah hopes to grow up to be an engineer.

Sarah is a straight ‘A’ student who has been competing and placing in science competitions since first grade. Last summer, she was chosen by NASA to spend two weeks at Virginia Tech as part of their Collegiate Experience Program. Recent accomplishments include: 2012 Second Place Senior Physics Florida State Science Fair; 2012 First Place Physics Orlando Science Challenge; Senior Physical Best in Show 2012 Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; 2012 First Place Physics Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; 2012 National Society of Professional Engineers Innovative Engineering Award; 2012 Best Presentation Senior Division Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; and 2012 Naval Science Award. Additional accomplishments include 2011 Excellent Solo Brevard Solo Ensemble Competition and 2012 Superior Symphony Orchestra District Assessment.

Sarah also holds club memberships and affiliations with: NASA INSPIRE Online Learning Community; Satellite High Academic, Business Ethics, First Robotics (RoboScorps) and Math Teams; Beta Club; National Honor Society; Harry Potter Club; and Mu Alpha Theta. Sarah also serves as the president of Mu Alpha Theta.


Bookmark and Share

Nicholas Buoniconti is a junior at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orange County, Fla. Nicholas has a passion for science and the preservation of the earth and all its natural resources. For the past two years, Nicholas has had the privilege of conducting research at the NanoScience Technology Center at the University of Central Florida.

He has already received a Grand Prize award and cash prize at Dr. Nelson Ying Expo earlier this spring, and went on to receive third place at the State Science and Engineering Fair. Due to his success at these fairs, Nicholas looks forward to future appearances at international science fairs in Houston, Pittsburgh and New York. He also plans to continue his science research into his collegiate career.

In addition to his rigorous course schedule of honors and AP classes and research, Nicholas is a member of his school’s varsity basketball team, which achieved the title of state runner-up this year. Nicholas is also a member of his school’s Pre-Med Club, National Honors Society and Latin Honors Society. Nicholas enjoys the outdoors and spends time in the summer in the North Carolina mountains.

Nicholas’ research focuses on trying to radically improve the efficiency and cost of nanotransistors and nanodevices. In today’s green society, his research can cut wasted raw materials, increase device efficiency and conserve energy used to power these devices. It is Nicholas’ hope that someday his research can be utilized in every electronic device, providing the opportunity to conserve energy, cut costs and optimize our precious resources.

Nicholas looks forward to this opportunity to compete and is excited to share his informative research with other scientists.


Bookmark and Share

777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email:
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility