the movie

This Whiz Kids site is for young people seriously interested in science.  And WHIZ KIDS (The Movie) is the dynamic behind-the-scenes story of three young Americans who entered the Intel Science Talent Search: the nation’s oldest, most prestigious science competition.   The film demonstrates what it takes to qualify, and the emotional roller coaster ride that the finalists go through during the judging. 

Imagine if a TV reality show came to your school, but the show wasn’t about your class – it was about you! Our three great 17-year-old Whiz Kids – Ana, Harmain and Kelydra – gave the filmmakers “all-access” to their lives for a year, starting in their hometowns and high schools, and going all the way to Washington, D.C. through the final judging of the Intel competition.

One of the filmmakers, Tom Shepard, was a teenage Whiz Kid himself, so he and his colleagues Michael Duca, Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane Wagner got special clearance from the Intel STS to make this movie.

If you’re a budding Whiz Kid, you will definitely want to see this – first, to see what it’s like to get in the biggest and best science talent search in the country, and, second, to be inspired by kids who actually got there!  (The same goes for parents and teachers and coaches and mentors of Whiz Kids.)

Over the coming weeks and months, Ana, Harmain and Kelydra, plus our filmmakers, will visit this site and our Facebook page to meet you, answer your questions, give advice, and share stories of their lives before, during, and after the Science Talent Search!

WHIZ KIDS came out last year in big-city movie theaters and got great reviews (it was called “gripping” and “emotionally inspiring”.)  Now it's going to be on TV, and this is the place where we’ll let you know where and when.  And if you just can’t wait, it’s also available on DVD!


WHIZ KIDS appears on TV at a challenging time, and one of opportunity. 

 “It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and work to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.” “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” 
-- President Obama

But recent stories in the New York Times say that funding for science fairs for high school kids is getting cut, and that girls may be “shunning” science for a variety of reasons.  Paula Golden, director of the Broadcom Foundation, which finances a science competition for middle-school students, calls the decrease in fairs – and the fewer science students to compete in the global economy – “a national crisis.”

The Science Talent Search began in 1942 and is the oldest, most prestigious science competition in America. Formerly sponsored by Westinghouse, it is now known as the Intel Science Talent Search.  Each year over two thousand students compete for prizes totaling more than $1.5 million. In the end, forty finalists travel to Washington D.C. to present their research to top scientists and vie for a $100,000 grand prize.

The best part of WHIZ KIDS (The Movie) is that it shows the excitement, innovation and diversity that the next generation of scientists will bring to our world.