121 posts categorized "Intel ISEF"


Visit a Live Alligator at the Intel ISEF 2013 Expo Hall

The Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) will be exhibiting at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2013, being held May 12-17 in Phoenix, AZ. Herpetology is the branch of zoology which studies reptiles and amphibians. PHS’ exhibit will include Mr. Stubbs, an American alligator with a prosthetic tail, and other reptiles. Below Jonathan Grove discusses why PHS makes an effort to reach out to students.


The Phoenix Herpetological Society was formed in the early 2000’s and focuses on animal care, species conservation, animal rescue/sanctuary, and education. It is run and operated by a volunteer staff and operational funding comes from grants, donations, shows, educational demonstrations, and tours. While we do normal reptile care, like breeding rare and endangered species, or helping someone who has a rattlesnake in their bathroom, we also go far above that. We are one of few true herpetological rescues in the U.S. that can handle the full spectrum of housing needs, ranging from a tiny night snake to a full grown salt water crocodile.


We decided to exhibit at Intel ISEF because we want to keep the “fun” in science and learning. PHS believes that herpetology is a gateway science for the younger generation, education is the future, and conservation starts with students. This can only be accomplished by exposing the public and students, both big and small, to reptiles and showing that herpetology can be fun and educational.


One of our mascots, Mr. Stubbs, has quite the story. He is an 11 year old American alligator who lost his tail in an unfortunate attack from a fellow alligator. He survived, and by the time we received him, he had healed and learned how to deal with his disability. But due to his injury, he could not swim well, or even float in the water, as alligators need a tail for those actions. PHS was able to give him a secure home, food, and a small pool that he could wade in. Then one day a local doctor on a tour saw the injury and was intrigued by it. We did some preliminary tests and a team was formed to develop a tail for Mr. Stubbs. To do so, one doctor needed to learn how to care for an animal, an engineer needed to learn how to work with new molds and materials, and another doctor learned how to map Mr. Stubbs’ movements using photography, so the engineer could match his movements.


Mr. Stubbs is now finally able to float and even somewhat swim; we are still in the process of teaching him how to work with his new tail. But it has been a win/win situation. People learned science and compassion, and Mr. Stubbs has a better quality of life. PHS also has one of the largest collections of venomous snakes on this continent. You may see some of those snakes, all in enclosed cases, of course, at Intel ISEF. In addition, we will have a few more of our mascots available for interactive learning opportunities, so be sure to stop by and see us.


Herpetology is the zoology branch that studies reptiles and amphibians. The study of this class of animals contributes to a wide variety of science/engineering branches. A materials engineer could learn how a gecko optimally absorbs sunlight by manipulating their skin’s color, amount of expansion/ detraction, or scale angle. A pharmacist can delve into how a black mamba's venom functions as a powerful pain killer or what specific protein peptide signatures are inhibiting pain receptors. Gila monster venom has been studied in relation to diabetes, resulting in the drug, Byetta. PHS played a role in this research by providing animals to universities that had been seized by law enforcement or needed to be relocated due to human encroachment.


Herpetology is a great science for kids; it’s fun and interactive. Going out in the desert or forest or swamp to find animals allows students to interact with nature, teaches observation skills, and requires note taking, being open to random encounters, and following protocols, while encouraging exercise. Handling a rattlesnake or alligator can be dangerous, but so is mixing nitric acid, or hydrofluoric acid. These risks can be abated by safety protocols and general handling techniques.


In the end, PHS wants to convey that we are not just a sanctuary or rescue. We have a wide variety of relationships within the community: we provide opportunities for students to earn their  Eagle Scout badges, help students learn ethics, science, and experience through volunteerism, serve as a location for school field trips and family tours, and provide a safe location to surrender your animal for adoption or sanctuary.  We also have multiple opportunities to work jointly on research projects in solar power, water conservation, animal husbandry, climate change, biomass, etc.



Thabit Pulak's Arsenic Filter Wins Him a Trip to EPA Expo

Thabit Pulak of Richardson, Texas was the winner of the Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2012. As part of this award, Thabit was invited to attend and exhibit at the National Sustainable Design Expo, home of the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability this April in Washington, DC. 


Thabit at EPACan you provide a short description of your research project and how you initially became interested in this topic?

Ethnically, I am from Bangladesh, which is a poverty-stricken nation. Amongst the many problems the country faces, one of the main problems that personally caught my eye was that of arsenic water poisoning. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element which leaks into groundwater in Bangladesh, where villagers often use water wells or deep-tube wells. Ingesting arsenic continuously results in arsenicosis, which is a chronic state of arsenic poisoning that gradually develops into various types of bodily cancers, like skin cancer, kidney cancer, and so on. While I was in Bangladesh in summer 2011, I met a neighbor who was afflicted by arsenicosis. It pained me to see that he had little options left for survival, as his condition was long untreated, and had progressed.


Studying the issue closer, I discovered a solution for filtering arsenic from water did exist, but it was very expensive (nearly $70) for the average villager, who makes around $1 a day. In addition, these filters were only for arsenic, not other bacterial matter. My project was developing an arsenic water filter that could also filter bacteria from water, at an affordable price. I designed my filter in such a way that the whole filter could theoretically be built using materials in a typical village home. My research could potentially benefit the 70 million people world-wide drinking arsenic tainted water.


What was your experience competing at Intel ISEF like?

I had never competed in a SSP-affiliated science fair until 2012, when our school held a science fair in which students could advance to regionals, state, and so on for the first time. Previously, our science fair was just school-wide. SEPAo naturally, I was stunned that my project even made it to Intel ISEF. My experience at Intel ISEF was definitely life changing. Up till that point, I hadn’t seen any place that contained so many teenagers that were extremely talented, and doing unprecedented things that had the potential to change the world. I had the opportunity to shake hands with Carl Wieman, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, and exchange a few words with him. Funny enough, I even bumped into Martin Chalfie, a Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, in the convention’s parking lot! The connections I made and the amazing people I met were ultimately what made my first trip to Intel ISEF  among the most life-influencing events I’ve ever been to. I am definitely excited to be able to return to Intel ISEF yet again at Phoenix this year!


The trip to the National Sustainable Design Expo was part of the award you received at Intel ISEF 2012. What were the most memorable parts of participating in the Expo?

The Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award given to me by the EPA at Intel ISEF 2012 included an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to attend the annual National Sustainable Design Expo, which is an event where university students working on the nation’s most-applicable environmentally sustainable projects compete for funds to implement their project. I was given a booth to present my project, like the university students competing. These students ranged from sophomores to post-graduates. I had the opportunity to present my project to many amazing people, such as the administrator of the EPA, Bob Perciasepe! I was also able to talk to various university students about their research. It was interesting to glimpse the research undertaken by undergraduates and graduate students. Up until then, I had only seen high school projects done by teenagers like myself. Looking at these projects made me feel very hopeful, because I saw that what they were doing was not so different from what I was working on.


What are you up to now?

Research-wise, I am now working on affordable testing methodologies for arsenic-contaminated water. Just like filtration, detecting arsenic in water is quite expensive. Thousands of people do not know arsenic is in their water, and despite government efforts to test for arsenic, existing methods are expensive. My work on this project earned me a grand-prize from the Dallas Regional Fair, allowing me to directly qualify for Intel ISEF 2013, which I am quite excited about.


After Intel ISEF, I established the first science club at my school, to encourage more students to participate in the science fair and pursue topics that can make an impact in the world.  This year, my school sent 7 students to the regional science fair, all of them members of the science club.  I pushed for the building of our school’s first library student conference room, which would be a place where students could talk and discuss ideas with each other, and help foster their thoughts, and thus ensuring that any “Spark of Genius” will not be lost. Recently, I’ve partnered up with a student from UC Berkley who runs a startup which builds conference rooms, and struck a proposed deal with him which will help further enhance the school’s conference room by sound-proofing it.


Do you have any advice for other young students interested in science?

Don’t let your age be a blocking factor in anything you try to solve in science. There’s no such thing as a problem that only “adults” can attempt to help solve. Attending the EPA National Sustainable Design Expo really helped me feel that age is no longer a relevant mode of measuring one’s contributions. Inside the Expo, I was a scientist, working to solve problems for the greater good, just like everyone else.


Also, if you desire on pursuing a career in science, work towards solving a problem the world faces, and be passionate about it. I am working towards fighting the decades-long problem of arsenic poisoning in underdeveloped countries, not only because of my love of science, but because I have seen the problem and I have a passion to solve it.


Winning the Top Award at Intel ISEF 2012 Kicks off Amazing Year for Jack Andraka

Jack Andraka was the Gordon E. Moore award winner at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2012 for his project on early detection of pancreatic cancer. Jack was also a 2011 Broadcom MASTERS semifinalist. Since his win, Jack has also had the opportunity to participate in TED talks, attended the State of the Union, and last week, the White House Science Fair.


IMG_9242When I was in 6th grade I attended a school that required kids to do a science fair project. I was immediately hooked! Later that year, I was a student observer when my brother went to Intel ISEF. The quality of the projects, the fact that science and math kids were so cool and interesting, the excitement of the event, and watching the awards ceremony left a deep impression on me. I dreamed of becoming an Intel ISEF finalist! I worked on stepping up the quality of my projects and practiced my presentations. I was so bad at presenting! I either sounded like a canned robot or lost my way halfway through.


I went to all the school, regional and national science fairs I could and visited the Intel Science Talent Search’s Public Exhibition of Projects every year to listen to the finalists and learn how to make my presentations more interesting. It was such a thrill when I won my regional event and was able to go to Intel ISEF 2012. It was everything I expected. The judges asked hard questions, the quality of the other projects was awe inspiring and the kids – well, many have become my close friends and we still talk and plan on working on projects together in the future.


Winning the Gordon E. Moore award was just surreal. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me! Just getting to be a finalist was such an honor that I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I won. My heart was beating so fast before they announced my name and when they said “in the category of medicine” I just started screaming with shock and joy and disbelief. It’s a moment of pure joy I’ll never forget.


ME028 Andraka, Jack USA 25I was motivated to find a new method of detecting pancreatic cancer after a close family friend died from pancreatic cancer. When I learned more about the disease, I was shocked at the statistics. My idea was to find a method of detecting the cancer early and thus reduce mortality rates. I determined the sensor would have to be inexpensive, rapid, simple, sensitive, selective, and minimally invasive. I decided to use a mixture of single walled carbon nanotubes (because of their interesting electrical properties) and antibodies to the cancer biomarker mesothelin (because it is overexpressed only in pancreatic cancer and not pancreatitis). I then chose to coat strips of filter paper with this mixture to provide support for the network. After contacting and being rejected by 199 labs, I finally was accepted into a lab and began refining my procedure. After 7 long months of experimenting, I created a sensor that can detect mesothelin and thus pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer for 3 cents in 5 minutes. It is 168 times faster, more than 26,000 times less expensive, and more than 400 times more sensitive than the current method of detection!


I’ve learned it’s important to pick a project that speaks to my heart and that I am passionate about spending a lot of time with. That way it’s not like work. I look forward to seeing where the answers to my questions take me and to digging deeper into the subject to help solve problems along the way. I’ve learned that scientific inquiry is a journey and you need persistence, resilience and creativity to see the project through and that having mentors and talking with other kids who are facing the same challenges is helpful. Participating in middle school science fair events was very helpful in learning how to communicate effectively. It also taught me to love my project, the answers I learned, and to be satisfied with the results of my project in my own mind. I lost many competitions and if I was just doing the work for awards I would have stopped long ago. I enjoy the process and learning new things – things that perhaps no one has ever seen before!


Andraka,jack_MG_5834I’d like to tell younger students to pick a topic they love because they will be spending a lot of time with it. Be proud of what you accomplish and consider learning better science and communication skills as part of a journey. Only one of my projects needed a lab so if you don’t have access to one, you can still do amazing work at home and at school. If you are looking for a lab, be prepared with a timeline, budget, material list and experimental design.


It’s been an amazing year and I’ve learned about so many new careers and opportunities. I’ve learned I really enjoy public speaking and plan to continue speaking about the importance of open access to scientific journals and raising awareness of pancreatic and ovarian cancers. I like to inspire people by sharing my journey and encouraging students to engage in science and math. Some fellow finalists and I are putting together Gen Z, a team of all teens to compete in the Qualcom Tricorder X Prize. Even if we don’t win, I know we’ll all learn how to work better together as a team, how to solve problems better and how to communicate even more effectively!


So if a 15-year old—who didn't even know what a pancreas was—could develop a new way to detect pancreatic cancer... just imagine what you could do!


Volunteers Needed for Education Outreach Day at Intel ISEF 2013

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) brings together more than 1,500 finalists to compete in the largest international pre-college science and engineering fair.


0990In addition to the finalists, around 4,000 students from Arizona will visit the Phoenix Convention Center, free of charge, for a day celebrating science on Thursday, May 16. Students will meet Intel ISEF finalists, learn about careers in science, participate in hands on activities in the Science and Technology Expo Hall, and solve a murder mystery using science and critical thinking in the Forensic Science Challenge.


Volunteers help make this special opportunity possible for Arizona schools. There are many exciting opportunities to volunteer on Education Outreach Day, whether you can come for a few hours, or stay all day.  Visit SSP’s website to register as a volunteer  for Education Outreach Day and indicate where you would most like to volunteer: Education Outreach Program, Transportation/Crowd Management, Operations/Hub, or as General Support. For information about volunteering as a group, please contact SSP at volunteer@societyforscience.org.


Education Outreach Program:


Forensic Science Challenge Room Volunteers

Assist school groups with forensic activities, staff one station of the forensic activity (blood spatter, DNA, fingerprinting, etc), help students solve clues, and monitor time.


Finalist Exhibition0995 Hall Stampers/Science and Technology Expo Hall Stampers

Stamp passports for school groups visiting the exhibition expo halls. School groups will earn stamps by visiting student finalists and learning about their projects, and by participating in hands on activities.


Transportation/Crowd Management:


Bus Volunteers

Help unload buses as they arrive at the convention center, distribute signs to school groups, direct traffic, and reload buses at the end of the day.


Registration Volunteers

1006Direct school groups into stanchions for departures and arrivals, distribute bags as groups enter the convention center, and accompany lead chaperone to register.




Introduction Video Ushers/Door Monitors

Welcome students to the convention hall, man doors as video is in progress, direct students to their seats to watch introduction video, and encourage groups to leave the hall once video has ended.


Group Escorts

Escort individual school group throughout the entire day to ensure group is following their assigned schedule. Volunteer will spend entire day with one school group. Must be comfortable around middle and high school students.


General Support:1040


Lunch Monitors

Check each school group into lunch at assigned time. Responsible for distributing lunch to each school, monitoring time, etc.


Additional volunteer opportunities are available throughout the week of Intel ISEF (May 12-17). Volunteers at Intel ISEF 2013 will receive a complimentary membership to SSP, as well as a digital badge recognizing their efforts. Unfortunately, SSP cannot provide compensation for travel or housing for volunteers.


Interpreters Needed for Intel ISEF 2013

More than 1,500 finalists from approximately 70 countries, regions, and territories will attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2013 being held May 12-17 in Phoenix, AZ.  To accommodate this broad array of attendees, Society for Science & the Public is seeking 200 interpreters in a variety of languages.


Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the week in a variety of shifts, but are most vital during judging on Wednesday, May 15. Interpreters do not need to have a science or technical background to participate.


“Interpreters play a key role in helping students reach maximum success in presenting their projects,” said Alan Gordon, a SSP staff member, who will be volunteering as a Russian interpreter for the third year. “I expected to just interpret, but I left inspired by the students and their enthusiasm. It’s great to watch their reactions.”


The largest need is for:Interpreter ISEF 2012

  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Portuguese
Interpreters are also needed for:
  • Cantonese
  • Filipino
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian0873
  • Japanese
  • Kazakh
  • Korean
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Urdu 

Volunteers who serve as interpreters at Intel ISEF 2013 will receive a complimentary membership to SSP, as well as a digital badge recognizing their efforts. Unfortunately, SSP cannot provide compensation for travel or housing for volunteers.


Visit www.societyforscience.org/intelisef2013 for more information and to sign up as a interpreter.


Bill Glaunsinger Wants You to Volunteer for Intel ISEF 2013

William “Bill” Glaunsinger is serving (along with his wife, Lorna) as the Judging Chair for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2013 being held May 12-17 in Phoenix, Arizona. Below Bill talks about his experience as a Society for Science & the Public volunteer and the need to recruit more judges and volunteers for this event.


How long have you been serving as a volunteer for Society for Science & the Public?
In 2003, the Chairperson of the Local Arrangements Committee in Phoenix asked me to be a Judging Chair when the Intel ISEF came to Phoenix in 2005.  The first Intel ISEF I attended was held in Cleveland in 2003. Once I had the chance to experience Intel ISEF, I was hooked. I was mostly impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and passion, and their projects were so much better than I had expected. It has always been a renewing and inspiring experience to attend this fair, and it is well worth volunteering a day and a half of your time. 


What is your specific role?
I am currently serving as the Judging Chair with my wife, Lorna, for the 2013 Intel ISEF. This means I am responsible for recruiting 36 judging co-chairs, which is at least two for each of the 17 categories of competition. I then work with the co-chairs and other organizations on recruiting 1,000 to 1,200 volunteer Grand Awards judges. Having more than 1,000 judges attend would be a new record; however, in the past we’ve had a 10-15% dropout rate, so we need to over-recruit in order to have enough judges to conduct interviews for at least 1,500 student finalists.


What initially made you decide to start and continue volunteering for SSP?
As I mentioned, the Intel ISEF in Cleveland was really what piqued my interest. Over the past decade, my role has evolved. I’ve been involved every year in some capacity, and I’m also currently the Vice Chair of the Judge Advisory Committee, whose role is to assess and make improvements in the judging process for each Intel ISEF. This year, we have helped develop new online training and recruitment videos for judges. In addition, we are working with SSP to provide judges with their student interview schedule when they sign in at registration, so they can preview projects they have been assigned and better prepare to interview the student finalists.


We encourage judges to take the time to preview projects because many of the student projects are so sophisticated. It takes a while for judges to prepare for the interviews and come up with questions that they are both interested in and that assist them in determining scores. Scores are then analyzed using a statistical display to help organize large amounts of information. This saves time and allows in depth  discussions of projects. We are also in the process of revising descriptions for the project categories/sub-categories and recently completed a revision of the judging criteria that better correlates with the differences between engineering and science projects. The Intel ISEF standards are not only for this fair, but are also often adopted by affiliated fairs around the world.


Why is participating in Intel ISEF or other hands-on research important for students?
Intel ISEF 2012 judging(IML credit)Often, the qualifying process for Intel ISEF is the first time students have performed a detailed science or engineering project largely on their own. While they frequently do their work at a lab or have a mentor(s) to bounce ideas off of, the projects that win awards have to be student-led. This is a very important formative stage in the participants’ careers. Students are seriously thinking about their future, and competing at Intel ISEF can make a real difference in their education and career decisions. That’s why it’s so important that we do the best job we can to evaluate the quality of student projects. Many students have told me that the most valuable part of their Intel ISEF experience was the opportunity to discuss their projects and be evaluated by judges who are experts in their fields.


Why is having volunteer judges for Intel ISEF vitally important?
The more interviews that each student participates in, the better the decision-making process. Each interview ensures more quality data in the system. There are 19 timeslots for interviews at Intel ISEF and we would like each student to have between 8 and 10 professional judging interviews. This may be the first time students explain projects to people specifically knowledgeable in their field of interest. In order for this to occur, we need at least 1,000 judges.


After the initial interviews, scores are analyzed statistically and judges then hold a caucus discussion. There is an opportunity to re-interview students if needed, and judges must come to a consensus about the best projects. Judges select 1st-4th place award winners in all 17 categories, plus a Best of Category award for each category.


This year, we are specifically trying to recruit judges in the categories of microbiology, plant sciences, and animal sciences; all of which are traditionally hard for us to fill. In addition, we are increasing our recruitment via social networks in hopes of diversifying the judging pool. We want judges at all stages in their careers. Younger judges in particular are always popular with the student finalists and often easier for them to relate to.


Judges must be available and on-site at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday afternoon, May 14 and all day Wednesday, May 15. Apply here to be a Grand Award judge. SSP is also seeking interpreters and general volunteers (no scientific background required) to assist at Intel ISEF. Contact us at volunteer@ssp.org for additional information.



Broadcom MASTERS International Delegate is Inspired by Memorable Experience

Megha Balachandra, 14, from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, was one of 18 delegates selected to attend the first-ever Broadcom MASTERS International program in May 2012. Broadcom MASTERS International is a companion program to the domestic Broadcom MASTERS that provides a unique opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for select middle school students from around the world. Delegates participate in a program structured specifically for them, as well as participate in various facets of Intel ISEF. Megha discusses her experience below. 


I have participated in the school science POWER (Project Oriented Work for Enterprise and Research) project fair every year since first grade. I have regularly won prizes. During eighth grade, I participated in the Institute for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) 2011 national science fair, where I presented my work on yeast metabolism under aerobic and anaerobic conditions – which has domestic as well as commercial implications (reducing fermentation time of food using yeast). At this fair, I was selected to serve as a Broadcom MASTERS International delegate at the Intel ISEF 2012 held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


MASTERS International 2012 for blogIt was a dream of mine to contribute to the community and in some capacity to help make things faster, simpler, and easier. My research work focused on reducing cooking time. Sharing my research at IRIS and Broadcom MASTERS International on reducing the fermentation time of food, thus making cooking faster and easier, helped me achieve that dream. I was overwhelmed by the opportunity and feel a great sense of thankfulness and gratitude to both IRIS and Broadcom MASTERS International.


I was the first person to receive the opportunity to attend Broadcom MASTERS International in India and I just couldn’t believe it when it was announced. This was my first visit to the United States and to Intel ISEF. It was an enthralling experience! I got to meet young scientists like me from across the world, hear about them, their personal interests, goals, and how they achieve them, and learn more about different languages, cultures, and traditions of people from all over the world. It was a very wonderful and memorable experience for me.


MASTERS International 2012 Gray TeamAt Broadcom MASTERS International, I was part of a group of 18 students from 11 different countries that was divided into three teams – grey, red and black. Each team consisted of 6 members, all from different countries.


On the first day, we went to the Pin Exchange ceremony. I have very beautiful memories of this day when I see the pins I received from my friends. The second day was my first official Broadcom MASTERS International activities. We went to Carnegie Mellon University where we saw the mechanical engineering lab, material science lab, artificial intelligence lab, and robotics lab. The opening ceremony of Intel ISEF was during the evening.


The third day we went to Kennywood amusement park, where we learned about the physics of the rides. It was absolutely the exact meaning of combining learning with fun. That night we had a party with food, dancing, music, and games at a place called Stage AE.


Intel ISEF 2012 Team IndiaThe fourth day was Student Observer Day. There were many students from different parts of the United States who joined us. We had a lot of activities such as extracting DNA from strawberries, making your own electroscope, making ice cream without a fridge, career exploration, etc. After lunch, we built a Rube Goldberg chain reaction and re-destructed it. This was my most favorite day, as we learned a lot and experienced things I had never enjoyed before. That night we all had dinner at Heinz Field and then went to Carnegie Science Center.


The sixth day we visited the Expo and Exhibit Halls, where Intel ISEF projects were open to the public. I visited most of the stalls and I was wonderstruck by the excellent projects from different fields of science. This exposure to science gave me a deep sense of motivation to innovate and achieve further and gave me a new sense of confidence.  We also had a forensic challenge where we acted as the FBI and investigated a murder case. To finish, we had a ceremony where we received medals and attended the Intel ISEF award ceremonies.  It was a precious moment to a lot of the participants.


My overall experience at Intel ISEF and with my team at Broadcom MASTERS International was very memorable. Even today, I feel like it just happened yesterday. I miss all my friends and the whole team. I look forward to being a participant at Intel ISEF and am working on some science projects.


Volunteer at Intel ISEF 2013 in Phoenix

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2013 will be held May 12-17 in Phoenix, AZ. SSP seeks volunteers to serve as judges, interpreters, and to provide general support. Judges require a PhD, or Masters' degree with six years experience. Interpreters and volunteers do not require scientific training.


Grand Award Judges volunteer to evaluate the projects of all student finalists in the 17 categories and select the winners of the top awards presented by the fair in each category. To be a Grand Award judge, one needs to hold an M.D. and/or Ph.D. in one of the 17 scientific categories or have a minimum of six years of professional work experience in the respective category.

Intel ISEF unites students from 70 countries, regions, and territories each year. Approximately 200 interpreters are needed to work with students in conversational or scientifically-informed interpretation. In 2012, the greatest demand was for Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin, but there is need anticipated for more than a dozen languages. No scientific background required.

More than 500 volunteers across a spectrum of activities are needed. Volunteer opportunities are available during the week in a range of shifts. We encourage you to explore all of the volunteer opportunities and experience Intel ISEF in your community. No scientific background required.

Contact SSP for additional information on volunteer opportunities at Intel ISEF 2013.


APA Offers Awards at Intel ISEF to Promote Psychology Research as a Career

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, and is the world's largest association of psychologists. With more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members, APA’s mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives. The APA sponsored awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2012 (Intel ISEF) held this past May. Answers were provided by Caitlin Crowley, Program Associate, Precollege and Undergraduate Education. 


Why is scientific research important to the APA? What made your organization decide to offer a special award at Intel ISEF?
Psychology, the scientific study of the mind and behavior, is a diverse discipline and a fascinating and relevant subject that applies to everyday life.  APA hopes to promote a psychologically literate public and engage a future generation of researchers. Some psychologists do basic research, while others apply the discipline’s scientific knowledge to help people, organizations, and communities function better.  Considering how many of society’s problems are based in human attitudes and behavior, psychological science research has great potential to contribute to solutions for these challenges.


APA is committed to supporting the promotion of scientific research and education at the secondary school level.  APA enthusiastically offers special awards to Intel ISEF participants whose projects display excellence in psychological research. High school students are the next generation of scientific researchers and APA is happy to support and reward their work.


What award(s) do you offer?
APA grants seven awards to the best projects in the psychological sciences.  Each year, a panel of psychologists selects the top projects. This effort is funded and organized through the APA Education Directorate. For the best projects in the psychological sciences, APA awards one first place prize of $1,500, one second place prize of $1,000, and five third place prizes of $500. All winners also receive an award certificate and a one-year student affiliate membership to APA.


Why do you think it’s important for students to participate in events such as the Intel ISEF?
Instilling an appreciation for scientific research in students at a young age can encourage academic engagement and strengthen scientific understanding. The Intel ISEF competition offers an incredible opportunity to do this. Students are empowered by the opportunity Intel ISEF provides to not only answer their own scientific questions through legitimate research, but also to present their findings in a competitive and professional atmosphere. APA applauds competitions such as the Intel ISEF that are leading the way in inspiring younger generations of students to become involved in and passionate about science. 


What impact do you think you, as an organization that provides awards and as judges, have on students interested in scientific research?
APA is devoted to educating the public about psychological science and the diversity of the discipline. Participating in Intel ISEF specifically gives APA the opportunity to encourage students to pursue psychological research to satisfy their scientific interests. From clinical practice, to neuroscience, to psychological testing, psychology encompasses a range of scientific investigation and discovery. By participating in Intel ISEF and allowing APA judges to interact with student researchers, we want to support students’ research interests and help them understand the true scope of possibilities available to them as young scientists. We hope our awards can encourage young researchers to pursue their interest in scientific study, by showing them that APA recognizes the quality of their work.


What are the elements of a good science fair project? What areas of science does your organization focus on?
A good science fair project is creative, well-planned, and cohesive.  APA judges look for projects that follow a consistent path from thesis to results, showing that students understood and properly tested their original research question. In addition, our judges are enthusiastic about creative projects. Given the rapidly evolving nature of psychology, our judges appreciate students who take an innovative approach to their research questions, designing their projects in new and different ways. Finally, our judges look for well-planned methodology and analysis. As psychologists, they understand the value and importance of thoughtful research design paired with appropriate statistical analysis.


Do you have any advice for young students interested in pursuing science? For organizations interested in becoming involved at Intel ISEF?
Young students interested in pursuing science should take advantage of opportunities such as the Intel ISEF to conduct research and engage with fellow students, teachers, and judges. Becoming familiar with a research environment will help students get excited about the limitless possibilities scientific research can offer. Students interested in pursuing science should encourage their high schools to offer research opportunities, either through a class or after-school club. Local science fairs are also great opportunities for students to conduct and present research projects. Many organizations like APA offer student (affiliate) memberships to interested students, and organizational websites can offer information on new research, publications of interest, and more. 


Organizations interested in promoting student research and becoming involved at Intel ISEF should consider becoming a Special Awards Organization.  With a wide range of scientific disciplines represented at Intel ISEF, organizations are sure to find projects that support their mission or interests.  Supporting student research and recognizing students who have excelled in their scientific exploration is a wonderful way for organizations to get involved at Intel ISEF.


Most Recent Winners: APA
Winners of APA awards at the Intel ISEF 2012 were Nicholas Corpuz from Murray, Utah for “Quantifying Implicit Stereotypes through the Cognition of Ambiguous Speech Associated with Visual Meanings;” L. Elisabeth Burton from Rio Rancho, New Mexico for “A Big Fat Deal, Phase III: Attributions of Body Talk, Risk Assessments of Steroid/Dietary Supplement Use, Perceptions of Media Images, and Self-Esteem;” Brandon Ramnath from Guteng, South Africa for “The Development of an Educational Board Game to Improve the Study Techniques of High School Students;” Benjamin Kornick from Roslyn Heights, New York for “OMG: Look Who Joined Facebook! The Relationship between Parenting and Adolescent Risk Behaviors;” Katherine Michelle Mangialardi from Ossining, New York for “An Investigation of the Economic, Social, and Consequential Factors that Affect Moral Decision-Making: A Behavioral and fMRI Study;” Abdullah Mashat from Makkah, Saudi Arabia for “An Innovative Method for the Comprehensive Textual Reading Ability of the Visually Impaired;” and  Abhilasha Gokulan from Little Rock, Arkansas for “Effect of Artificial Sweeteners on Neurodegenerative Disorders: Using PC12 Neuronal Cells as a Model.”


Final Thoughts?
APA has proudly served as a Special Awards Organization for many years.  Each year, APA members enthusiastically volunteer to judge at Intel ISEF, eager to support high school science research and see all these young students have accomplished.  Our judges are consistently impressed by the high quality and rigor that characterizes the projects presented at Intel ISEF.  APA looks forward to continuing as a Special Awards Organization and rewarding exceptional student research in psychological science.



Collaboration: The Heart of Scientific Discovery

Fan, Huihui Angela 37 Public Day

Angela Fan was a finalist of both the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2012. The post below, written by her, is reposted from the CSR@Intel blog.



Note: This post was written by Huihui “Angela” Fan, a winner at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. As part of her prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Angela received a trip in December 2012 to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS), an annual weeklong event for young international scientists that provides opportunities to attend various Nobel festivities, including the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.


Collaboration, they say, is the heart of scientific discovery.


During my recent trip to Stockholm, I spent eight days with 25 young scientists from 16 different countries. Each of us had interesting aspects of culture to share, remarkably different school experiences, and fascinating stories to tell about growing up. It was wonderful that such a diverse group could be connected by our love of science research.


Despite our research in different areas, we spent hours explaining our projects to each other and discussing what it was like to pursue research in different parts of the world. Some of the students had performed research as part of school classes, while others simply liked to build objects in their free time. Others required laboratory assistance from nearby universities, while some students performed research independently. We swapped stories about our experiences at science competitions and discovered that many of us had been at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair together, and we all wondered why we didn’t meet earlier.


Science did not only connect us as students, but on the professional level as research collaborators, as well. For instance, on day three of the seminar, we attended a series of Nobel lectures, where the laureates explained their lifetime of work. All of the lectures had a huge emphasis on research’s collaborative nature. It was wonderful to see all of the people who contributed to the effort of discovering such landmarks in science.


At the end of the week, I couldn’t believe that we were all going to leave and return to our respective countries. It seemed impossible to me that a mere eight days ago, we were complete and utter strangers. We had been through so much together – from running around in the Stockholm cold to sitting eagerly in anticipation as this year’s laureates received their awards. A common interest in science brought us all together, gave us initial avenues of conversation to pursue when we were all awkwardly scared to talk, and connected us all deeply. We traded emails and “friended” each other on Facebook, swapped home addresses with the promise to send postcards, and hugged and cried on the last day as taxis shipped us out to the airport. My trip to Stockholm was an incredible, irreplaceable experience that truly revealed that science, at its core, is an international effort characterized by friendship and collaboration.

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