Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition

Next Competition: April 28-30, 2023

Local scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Nelson Ying has partnered with Orlando Science Center since 1999 to celebrate local students’ exemplary achievements through the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition. 

Students submit research papers to be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges and can earn up to $5,000, plus additional awards for their schools and teachers.

This competition is open to individual students in Grades 9–12. Projects can be classified into a wide range of STEM topics, but they always have one thing in common: the goal to help humanity through scientific research.

Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition Resources

For more information about Orlando Science Center’s science competitions, please call our Reservations team at 407.514.2112 or email competitions@osc.org.


Application Deadline:
March 9, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.


2022 Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition Finalists

1st Place Winner & Finalist - Ella Pilacek, Oviedo High School — Ella trained honeybees to associate the smell of an endangered plant species with sugar water, a food source. This was done to provide a basis for future research into using Pavlovian conditioning to combat the impacts of habitat fragmentation through encouraging pollination of this endangered plant species.

Kyra Henriques, Oviedo High School — Microplastics have potential to harm health. Kyra's research focuses on how different combinations of oils, magnetite, and plastics were tested for highest microplastic removal efficiency for use in an automated prototype designed to demonstrate real world applications.

Lavanya Natarajan, Viera High School — Lavanya has developed a novel end-to-end system to measure, manage, predict, and mitigate methane emissions real-time. Landfills emit methane during waste decomposition. Large portions of this potent gas escape undetected, fueling global warming. This informed IoT solution will revolutionize methane monitoring methodologies and help achieve 50% greenhouse gas reductions by 2030!

Varun Madan, Lake Highland Preparatory School Varun's project involved creating a probiotic treatment mixture made from lactic acid bacteria and a novel multiple linear regression model (a type of machine learning technology) to optimize honeybee gut immunity against a harmful gut parasite called Nosema ceranae.

Ella Pilacek - OSC Ying Competition Winner holding trophy
Dr. Ying Science Competition Winner - Ella Pilacek
Kyra Henriques - OSC Ying Competition Finalist holding trophy
Dr. Ying Science Competition Finalist - Kyra Henriques
Lavanya Natarjan - OSC Ying Competition Finalist holding trophy on stage
Dr. Ying Science Competition Finalist - Lavanya Natarjan
Varun-Madan-OSC-Ying-Competition-Finalist. holding trophy
Dr. Ying Science Competition Finalist - Varun Madan
Atreya Manaswi - OSC Ying Competition Finalist holding trophy
Dr. Ying Science Competition Finalist - Atreya Manaswi