Prestigious Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition Names 2020 Teen Finalists

Prestigious Science Competition Moves Judging Online for Teens to Present their Groundbreaking Research Projects 

Since 1999, Dr. Nelson Ying — a scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist — has partnered with Orlando Science Center to celebrate the exemplary research of visionary high school science students through an annual science competition in his name.


Every year during the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, five students from across Central Florida are selected to present their groundbreaking scientific research to a prestigious Judges panel. One winner is selected to receive a cash scholarship as well as cash prizes for their teacher and their school.


This year, finalists were scheduled to present their research on Saturday, April 18 at Orlando Science Center with an awards ceremony planned for Sunday, April 19 at Dubsdread Country Club in nearby College Park. Unfortunately, Orlando Science Center has been closed to the public as a public health precaution since March 16. Instead of cancelling this event, Dr. Ying and Orlando Science Center decided to move the competition online.


Dr. Ying and Orlando Science Center didn’t want a global pandemic to stop this competition, which has been a tradition for over two decades. Finalists will now present to the judges via Zoom on Saturday and then attend a virtual awards ceremony on Sunday.


To compete in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, each entrant must perform a research project that has the ultimate goal of benefiting humanity. Projects are presented to a judges’ panel, consisting of retired engineers, scientists, educators, and Dr. Ying himself.


The finalists for the 2020 Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition are as follows:

  • Kyle Bramblett, Titusville High School, for trying to see if an artificial structure could have significant effects on oyster growth, increasing oyster spats, and improving water quality.
  • Nathan Foo, West Shore Junior/Senior High School, for testing to see if mechanically simulated kangaroo care is an efficient and feasible method for treating preterm babies.
  • Ian Henriques, Seminole High School, for devising a simple, adaptive model for controlling drones for service during natural disasters in a way that conserves fuel and avoids collisions.
  • Varsha Naga, Winter Springs High School, developing a technique to reduce the risk of infectious deaths in patients with central venous catheters.
  • Pranav Swaminathan, Spruce Creek High School, for designing a low cost and practical device for motorcycles that can be used to reduce emissions.


Please check back on Monday, April 20 when we share the winner of the competition. The winner will receive $5,000, $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for their teacher or mentor. Previous winners have gone on to continue their research at top universities, such as MIT and Johns Hopkins and even work for NASA.