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The World Science Festival Announces an Initiative to Profoundly Enrich the Experience of the World’s Next Generation of Exceptional High School Mathematics Students: World Science Scholars

[April 16, 2018] New York, NY – The World Science Festival today announced World Science Scholars (WSS), a new, groundbreaking initiative to nurture the next generation of one-in-a-million mathematical minds and help them use their exceptional skills to change the world.

Made possible through the generous support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, this program selects a small group of high school sophomores and juniors worldwide who have demonstrated extraordinary mathematical talent to join a vibrant community of mathematical geniuses, world-renowned professors, dedicated teaching fellows, and dynamic mentors from around the world, all of whom are connected digitally through a robust social learning platform, inspired by World Science U (www.worldscienceu.com).

The centerpiece of the WSS initiative will be multi-platform filmed and live course experiences led by scientists at the forefront of their fields. WSS student enrichment will also extend far beyond their coursework, with opportunities via: the digital platform and social media networks established for these groups, and through in-person meet-ups with local WSS mentors, as well as focused gatherings at the World Science Festival in New York City.

Ultimately, the goal for WSS is to vastly expand each student’s perspective by intensely exploring a broad range of new disciplines that extend far beyond pure mathematics: from neuroscience and physics to agriculture and finance. They will deepen their knowledge by grappling with challenging mathematical ideas in new and unfamiliar contexts; and open new pathways along which their talents can flourish, facilitating their potential to focus on the common good and sparking scientific breakthroughs of the future.

Tracy Day, World Science Festival Co-Founder and CEO explained, “We want to introduce some of the world’s most talented math students to the possibilities of where their gifts can take them. We’re looking to build a community that grows, is mutually supportive, and goes out and changes the world.”

Students are recruited through worldwide nominations from throughout the WSF network of individuals and organizations; announcements in select media; and through direct applications from highly motivated, exceptional students (http://bit.ly/WorldSciScholar18) This broad, multifaceted approach to identifying and recruiting applicants reflects a commitment to searching for students in diverse communities irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and location.

Upon completion of the WSS program, students will become members of an alumni network designed to foster connections between past and present cohorts and lead to mentoring relationships, friendships, and professional collaborations, as well as future engagements with the WSF and the larger mathematics and science communities.


The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Through discussions, debates, theatrical works, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons, and major outdoor experiences, the Festival takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City and beyond.

(The Festival has featured acclaimed artists Alan Alda, Joshua Bell, Alec Baldwin, Mayim Bialik, Chuck Close, Glenn Close, David Draiman, Tina Fey, Renée Fleming, Philip Glass, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bill T. Jones, Charlie Kaufman, Mary-Claire King, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Liev Schreiber, Anna Deavere Smith, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Julie Taymor; renowned scientists Sylvia Earle, Stephen Hawking, Eric Lander, Richard Leakey, Oliver Sacks, and E.O. Wilson; and Nobel Laureates David Baltimore, Barry Barish, Steven Chu, David Gross, Eric Kandel, Dudley R. Herschbach, Roald Hoffmann, Leon Lederman, Paul Nurse, John C. Mather, Saul Perlmutter, William Phillips, Adam Riess, F. Sherwood Rowland, Horst Störmer, Jack W. Szostak, Gerard ‘t Hooft, Harold Varmus, James Watson, Steven Weinberg, Rai Weiss, Carl Wieman, Frank Wilczek, among many others luminaries in science and the arts.)

The annual live, week-long Festivals, which launched in 2008, have collectively drawn more than 2.5 million visitors worldwide, with millions more viewing the programs online. The World Science Festival’s original musical and theatrical works tour nationally and internationally. March 2016 marked the launch of World Science Festival Brisbane. World Science U is the Foundation’s online education arm, where students and lifelong learners can dive more deeply through artfully produced digital education content presented by world-renowned scientists.

Cofounded by Brian Greene and Tracy Day, the World Science Festival is a production of the World Science Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in New York City.