Andy Steffl, a junior at St. Mary's High School, made his second appearance at ISEF, held this year in Phoenix, Ariz.

After competing at local, regional and state science fairs, Andy Steffl had the opportunity recently to move on to compete at an international fair.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition that provides a forum for more than 1,500 high school students from about 70 countries, regions and territories around the world to showcase their independent research. Andy attended the fair in Phoenix, Ariz., from May 12-17 with his project titled: “The Effects of Pleurotus ostreatus on the Deterioration of Petroleum.”

This was Andy’s second appearance at ISEF as he attended last year when it was held in Pittsburgh, Pa.

While this was Andy’s second appearance, his sister Katie, also an ISEF attendee, chaperoned the trip with her brother. Katie is attending the College of St. Scholastic and attended ISEF when it was held in California.

When not competing, Andy had time to go on several tours of Arizona including the Grand Canyon and the Sonoran Desert.

Andy completed his junior year at St. Mary’s High School and his parents are Dan and Lisa Steffl. This is Andy’s fifth year competing at the local level.

The ISEF competition is exclusively for students in grades 9-12 and grew out of the National Science Fair, which was created by Society for Science and the Public in 1950. In 1958, the fair became international for the first time when Japan, Canada and Germany joined the competition.

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 Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF. Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talent on an international stage, enabling them to submit their work to judging by doctoral level scientists—and providing the opportunity to compete for more than $3 million in prizes and scholarships.