Senior Rises to the Top at International Science and Engineering Fair

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Lynbrook High School senior Kaylie Hausknecht recently competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona and took home numerous top awards for her independent research project. This year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 80 countries, regions and territories showcased their projects at the Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. 

Kaylie presented her research titled “Disentangling Spatial Correlations from Inhomogeneous Materials with Shift-Invariant Artificial Neural Networks,” during the fair. Her research was conducted while working in a condensed matter physics laboratory studying superconductors which are able to conduct electricity without losing any energy to resistance. Kaylie’s goal was to solve the issue that scientists have when looking to make higher temperature superconducting materials which are extremely disordered on the atomic level. It complicates the task of distinguishing what is a relevant feature of the material from what is just noise from disorder. For her project, Kaylie developed a new methodology with a form of artificial intelligence that is able to disentangle the essential properties of these materials from their nanoscale disorder, a methodology that may be useful for studying different materials, as well as other disordered physical systems.

Her impressive research earned her first place in the Physics category and granted her $3,000. Kaylie also took home the prestigious Best in Category award for Physics and Astronomy and received $5,000. This distinction means that Kaylie was recognized as the best high school physics researcher in the world. 

In addition, she earned the European Union Young Scientist Award, allowing her to proudly represent the U.S. with an all-expenses paid trip to the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September. Furthermore, Kaylie had an asteroid named in her honor and the Intel Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to Lynbrook High School and the affiliated fair they represent in honor of her success.  

Science research teacher David Shanker attended the fair with Kaylie and expressed how proud he was of his hardworking student. 

“Kaylie has achieved the highest level of success in the Lynbrook High School Research Program since it was formed in 1999,” he said. “On the day of judging, Kaylie was confident and handled the grueling seven hours of presenting, cool and composed. It was at the Grand Awards ceremony when I lost it after I heard these words, ‘For Physics and Astronomy, the Best in Category, from Lynbrook New York, Kaylie Hausknecht.’ I’ll never forget that; Kaylie’s was the best physics project in the world.” 

The district congratulates Kaylie on this tremendous achievement and looks forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in the future!