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Student Observers Blog About Experience at Intel ISEF 2012 (Part 1)

Students from Hudson County, New Jersey, attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF 2012) with SSP 2010 Fellow Marie Aloia, wrote daily blog posts for their hometown newspaper about their experience. Below are excerpts from these student blogs (Part 1 of a 3-part blog series).


Day 1
By Shivangi Parmar and Christopher Kennedy


The Hudson County Science Fair Troop, including observers Tasfia, Crystal, Olivia, Bishoy, John, [Shivangi, and Chris], our teacher Ms. Aloia, and finalist Jan-Alfred, and Union City’s Mrs. Makar and finalist Mervy explored Pittsburgh to have a nice, refreshing breakfast. All around the downtown we met new people, who turned out to be statues, who were part of an art exhibit called the Sculpture Foundation.


The Pin Exchange at the Westin Hotel in the evening was a monumental, amazing, once in a lifetime experience.  Science united the world, and we all met in an evening of friendship.  Some people wore their national costumes. Many of the seniors wore their college shirts as an icebreaker.  Chris met four future friends from Florida Tech.  We met students from our birth countries- Egypt, India, and the Philippines, and we’re still looking for students from Ireland and Bangladesh.  


Day 2
By Jan-Alfred Aquino and Olivia Shaker


Today, the group of observers, finalists, and teachers representing the Hudson County Science Fair experienced new activities in Pittsburgh at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Today’s main activities included Symposia and the opening ceremony.


The Symposia are a series of lectures or seminars which address students on several scientific topics. For example, today many students attended the “Talking Science” symposium by Jack Franchetti, where they learned guiding principles and techniques to convey their thoughts in interviews, particularly in science. The symposium was very informative about public speaking, which is also beneficial to the finalists’ presentations on Wednesday.


Several students also attended the “Transitioning to College” Symposium, where they learned about the merging of arts and sciences in college. The symposium was particularly popular with the seniors heading off to college in the fall.


Mervy and Jan-Alfred also attended the “Judging at the Intel ISEF” symposium. The symposium allowed the two finalists to understand the judging process and taught them how to prepare for Wednesday’s judging.


The main event of the day was the opening ceremony. The show included an intermingling between students, an amazing instrumentation of some weird pipe-looking thing, and a keynote address by Ben Gulak, a former Intel ISEF Finalist who used his talents to pursue his dream and become an inventor worth millions of dollars.


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