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 2014 Information
Papers Due: 5:00 p.m. March 21, 2014 Finalists Notified: April 8, 2014 Competition Weekend: April 25-27, 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.
Important: Once you have received a confirmation email, your project/paper is registered. If you have not received a confirmation email by Wednesday, March 26, please email
or call 407.514.2112.
Orlando, FL - May 1, 2011 - Kristen Clayton, a 15 year-old freshman from Brevard County’s Viera High School and a first time participant in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition took home the top prize during the awards ceremony on Sunday, May 1. Clayton takes home a trophy, a $5,000 cash scholarship plus $1,000 awards each for her science teacher and her school. For more than a decade, Philanthropist, Scientist and Entrepreneur Dr. Nelson Ying has hosted this competition in collaboration with the Orlando Science Center to encourage the outstanding scientific accomplishments of our community’s teens.
Clayton’s research concerns a rapidly growing aquatic plant named Lemna minor and its potential for use in the production of ethanol fuel. Her work allows the plant to absorb large amount of phosphates and nitrates from the water, which helps reduce algae growth while allowing the plant to attain its maximum starch content. This result makes Lemna minor ideal feedstock for ethanol production.
Finalist Neel Patel is an 11th grade student at Oviedo High School in Seminole County and is a member of the Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta. A science research since sixth grade, Neel is now a dual enrollment student at the University of Central Florida and has published and presented his research at various simulation and training conferences. Though he keeps busy with his studies, Neel is also an active member of his school’s varsity swimming team and water polo team and enjoys swimming and surfing. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America.
Neel’s research project for the Ying Competition focuses on how humans absorb information, specifically graphs and patterns. Over the past three years, he has worked on various studies having to do with sonification (auditory patterns). He decided to further this by concentrating on the accuracy of comprehension and the exact processes of sonification. It is his hope that from his research we will be able to better understand how to apply sonification for everyday use such as assisting the visually impaired.
Deepak Sathyanarayan is a senior at Volusia County’s Spruce Creek High School with a passion for sharing, protecting and cherishing the Earth. His entry in this year’s Dr. Ying Science Competition aims to improve plant defense mechanisms through artificially induced genetic modifications. These efforts would prevent harmful and naturally occurring mutations. His goal is to reduce our carbon footprint while relieving food shortages.
Deepak is also a participant in the International Baccalaureate Program, vice president of his school’s student government association, and team leader for the Students for Environmental Sustainability organization. He has consistently placed high in the Volusia County Science Fair, receiving 1st place every year from 2005 through 2011, excluding 2009. In 2007, Deepak won the Toshiba NSTA ExploraVision Award. His collaborative study “a high-throughput method for isolation of salicylic acid metabolic mutants” was published in Plant Methods in September 2010.
Collin currently attends Cocoa Beach High School in Brevard County and is anything but your typical high school senior. Participating in the International Baccalaureate Program, Collin has had the opportunity to do and present scientific research since his middle school days. As a Melbourne Beach resident, he developed a love for the ocean and that love has inspired the research that he has entered in this year’s Dr. Ying Science Competition.
His entry focuses on research into karenia brevis, the organism responsible for the Florida red tide. He has investigated and invented a new, simple and inexpensive method of detection for the most harmful brevetoxin in the red tides, PbTx-3. His ultimate goal is to stop the damage to our ecosystem from these harmful red tides. If successful, he could one day save millions of species of marine life plus positively impact Florida’s fishing and tourism industries.
Collin has won numerous awards for past research, including the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge’s “Planet Green” Award in 2007 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” Award in 2009. He received a scholarship from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and in 2010 he completed an internship during the summer with the NOAA Center for Costal Environmental Health and Bimolecular Research in Charleston, NC. Collin won the Ying Competition in 2009 and 2010, and is looking forward to another exciting competitive experience.