Merrimack students second at international science fair

MANCHESTER – Four New Hampshire high school students competed in the Intel-sponsored International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix on May 12.

Sara Mason and Matt Spettel, of Merrimack, placed second in their category of Embedded Systems.

Mary Zhu, of Nashua High School South, placed second in the Behavioral and Social Science category.

Shaan Bhandarkar, from Phillips Exeter Academy, was selected for his question to address the session of Excellence in Science & Technology Panel (with Nobel laureates and other scientific prize winners).

All four students were winners in the NHSEEA Expo held March 17 at Concord’s NHTI. The New Hampshire Science and Engineering Association sponsors an annual expo to further the education of New Hampshire’s high school students in STEM-related competition.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. About 1,700 high school students from more 75 countries, regions and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for about $4 million in prizes.

Today, millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in SSP-affiliated regional and state fairs, from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.

The New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition Association advances science education in the state. The NHSEEA organizes the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition, which includes the New Hampshire High School Science Fair, and collaborates with businesses, communities, high schools, and the state’s colleges and universities to promote the education of New Hampshire students in STEM and STEAM.

For more information on the Intel ISEF winners and NHSEE, email NHSEE President Deborah Schuh at or visit