By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Jack Andraka has won the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

On Thursday, the 15-year-old from Crownsville, Md., received the top honor for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer.

Based on diabetic test paper, he created a simple “dip-stick” sensor to test blood or urine to determine whether or not a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer. His study resulted in more than 90 percent accuracy and showed his patent-pending sensor to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive, and more than 100 times more sensitive than current tests.

Andraka received $75,000 and the Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of Intel co-founder and retired chairman and CEO.

Two students, Nicholas Schiefer, 17, of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, and Ari Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, Va., each received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000.

Schiefer studied what he calls “microsearch” or the ability to search the fastest-growing information medium: small amounts of content, such as tweets and Facebook status updates. Through his research, Nicholas hopes to improve search engines’ capabilities, which will in turn improve access to information.

Dyckovsky investigated the science of quantum teleportation. He found that once atoms are linked through a process called “entanglement,” information from one atom will just appear in another atom when the quantum state of the first atom is destroyed.

Using this method, organizations requiring high levels of data security, such as the National Security Administration, could send an encrypted message without running the risk of interception because the information would not travel to its new location; it would simply appear there.

“We support the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because we know that math and science are imperative to future global growth,” said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “This competition encourages millions of students to engage their skills for innovation and develop promising solutions for global challenges.”

This year, more than 1,500 young scientists were chosen to compete in the competition. They were selected from 446 affiliate fairs in approximately 70 countries, regions, and territories. In addition to the winners previously mentioned, more than 400 finalists received awards and prizes for their groundbreaking work.

Intel and the Society for Science & the Public co-organized the competition.