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Intel Drops Another Science Fair

Computer chip maker Intel will no longer be sponsoring the International Science and Engineering Fair, the New York Times reports.

The company also recently ended its sponsorship of the prestigious Science Talent Search, which was originally started by Westinghouse during World War II; Regeneron now backs that science competition.

The Times suggests that Intel is no longer supporting science fairs because students are turning to "more freewheeling forums for scientific creativity" such as hackathons and Maker Faires and because science fairs have shifted towards the life sciences and biotechnology. It also indicates that higher-ups at Intel were of two minds: Brian Krzanich, the current chief executive at Intel, argues that science fairs are outdated, while Craig Barrett, a former Intel chair and chief executive, counters that would mean Intel is outdated.

Under Krzanich's leadership, Intel has sponsored Maker Faire events, the Times adds, noting that Barrett is on the board of the Society for Science and the Public, which organizes both the International Science and Engineering Fair and the Talent Search.

The paper adds that there doesn't appear to be a general drawback from science fairs by tech companies, as Google hosts its own.

The Society for Science has begun its search for a new sponsor for the International Science and Engineering Fair.