Who Are the High School Science Stars? Immigrant Children.
A study from the National Foundation for American Policy indicates that 83% (33 of 40) of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants.
The competition organized each year by the Society for Science & the Public is the top science competition for U.S. high school students.
Moreover, 75% of the finalists had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas. That compares to seven children who had both parents born in the United States. The science community often calls the science competition the “Junior Nobel Prize.”
Writes Stuart Anderson, the report’s author and the foundation’s executive director: “These outstanding children of immigrants would never have been in America if their parents had not been allowed into the U.S.”
Cutting Immigrant Visas Will Result in Brain Drain
Parents who were international students were more likely to have a child as a finalist than native-born parents. A total of 27 of the 40 children – 68% – had a parent who came to America as an international student. That means if international students cannot remain in America after graduation (through Optional Practical Training and improved visa policies) it will also deprive America of the potentially substantial contributions of their children.
Among the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 14 had parents both born in India, 11 had parents both born in China, and seven had parents both born in the United States.
People of Indian and Chinese birth represent only about 1% of the U.S. population each, according to the Pew Research Center.
In addition to China, India and the United States, the countries of origin for the parents of 2016 Intel Science Talent Search finalists represent a diverse set of countries, including Canada, Cyprus, Iran, Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
You can read Anderson’s op-ed in Forbes at this link.