Top US Science Competition Highlights Immigrant Contributions

The 2011 Intel Science Talent Search competition produced some interesting results – 70 percent of the finalists are children of immigrant parents. The National Foundation for American Policy researched the competition, which is the most prestigious science and math event for U.S. high school students. Only 12 of the 40 finalists have parents that were born in the United States. The bulk has parents who hail from China, India, South Korea, and Iran and came to the U.S. on H-1B visas.

Many of them immigrated to the U.S. to better their life and enable their children to achieve more. The NFAP found that immigrant parents encouraged their children to focus on their education and leadership roles in extracurricular activities. A good percentage of the finalists’ parents came to the U.S. as exchange students.

The role of immigrants and the influence they have on their children’s upbringing is vast. “Our immigration policies must not be allowed to deprive our country of the contributions that these kids are making here,” said the NFAP study. “The benefit America derives from the children of immigrants in science and math is an additional advantage the country reaps from being open to talent from around the world. Americans should take pride in our openness to individuals and their children who can succeed in the United States without regard to class or place of birth. The talents possessed by these children of immigrants are a wonderful gift to America, a gift we can all benefit from in the future so long as we can allow talented foreign nationals to come to the United States and pursue their American dreams.”

H-1B visa holders range from exchange students, skilled immigrants, and family-sponsored foreigners. These types of visas are good for three years, with an extension of up to six years. Of special note, H-1B visa holders only make up one percent of the entire U.S. population. Smart immigration policies to attract the right caliber of individuals and families can go a long way to improving America’s competitive stance. Harsh immigration policies will only “…shut off the flow of a key segment of America’s next generation of scientists and engineers” said the NFAP study.

In Texas, two out of the three finalists have foreign-born parents. The two students, Sunil Kochikar Pai from Houston and Rounok Joardar from Plano, have Indian-born parents. Pai created a new way to measure electron transfer properties of molecules for the Intel competition. His after-school activities include cross country, golf, and tennis as well as playing in the orchestra and being president of the math club and the youth division of the Houston Konkani Association. Joardar built a high-efficiency hybrid concentrator solar cell. His research pushes to replace fossil fuels. In 2010, Joardar won first place in engineering at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. He is fluent in Bengali and taken many years of Spanish.

Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee understands the benefits of an American education as she came to the U.S. for graduate school and the American dream. The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee are known for their skill at helping individuals, families, and businesses with the H-1B process. For more than 10 years she has helped clients achieve their immigration goals.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

Tagged with: , ,