The percentage of top science students in U.S. reveals immigrants dominate

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The National Foundation for American Policy has released a new study stating 33 of 40 (83%) high school finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants.

The competition, which is hosted by the Society for Science & the Public, took place from March 9 to 15 this year. It is the top leading science competition for U.S. high school students seeking to become scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

In 2016, 30 out of 40 (75%) of the finalists were children of immigrant parental background; 27 of the 40 children had a parent who came to the U.S. as an international student.

The 2016 Intel Science Talent Search finalists came from very distinct and diverse backgrounds from countries such as China, India, Canada, Cyprus, Iran, Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, a finalist of Nigerian immigrant parents, gave comment to Forbes about how thankful she was for the education she was receiving in America:

“They sacrificed so much for me. My father grew up during the civil war in Nigeria and couldn’t afford an education. Seeing what my parents did to make a better life for their children has inspired me to do everything I can to succeed. This is the land of opportunity.”

Augusta’s goal as a finalist was to enhance the properties of cement as a practical application to prevent oil spills. Amol Punjabi, a student of Indian background, who won the First-Place Medal of Distinction for Basic Research, was tasked with creating software that could be used by pharmaceutical companies to fight cancer and heart disease.

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