2018 ISEF Newsletter #6 from Srikar Godilla

Posted: 16 May 2018
Fair Year:

Filed Under: ISEF, Newsletters

Srikar Godilla

Junior, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, Windsor

Today was the first day of judging.  The day that some of us traveled hundreds of miles for. The day that some of us dreaded and some of us were waiting for. I was one of those who have been waiting for this day for a long time. It was finally time to show our peers and judges the great work that we have done. Days like this start early and end late. So, to start early we had at 6:30 in the morning. Breakfast started at 6:30 and as soon as it was done we had to get changed for judging. For such an event we made sure to dress to impress. We put on our very best suits, shirts, pants, ties, dresses, and shoes.

My project, along with Cristian, was in hall D/E. The doors were set to open at 8:00 but we of course arrived early. The doors hadn’t opened yet and the crowd in front of it was quite large. It even extended up the escalators and back to the other halls. Once the doors opened all hell broke loose. Everyone rushed in to their halls ready to set up their laptops and projects to be viewed for judging. Cristian and I were in the materials science division, and we calmly went to our booth and set up our laptop to be ready for judges.

Judging had begun but all was silent at our booth for the first hour. It was only until that we got a grand award judge that we got the opportunity to present our project. Judging continued and our booth continued to only get grand award judges. One judge, who was not a part of the materials science division but instead from the physics division, came to our project and asked us about it. He was not there to judge us but he was still quite fascinated with it and complimented our research, saying that it could have many useful applications.

Hopeful that we would get some special award judges after lunch, we went to August Henry’s. The night before we had ordered what we were going to eat, so in just a few minutes we were served our food and we got straight to eating. All of us being famished from the extensive discussions with our judges were glad to have some hearty food like mac and cheese, chicken parmesan, and veggie burgers. Done with our lunch we headed back to the convention center for one final round of judging.

Judges continued to come and Cristian and I continued to hope that at least one special awards judge would come to us. Luckily, we were granted our wish, although a bit too closely, and were visited by exactly one special award judging group. We were still grateful, as many others would be, that we got the opportunity to even come to ISEF.
Judging ended and the CT team headed back to the Westin Hotel. We only got a short break, however, before we got on the T and headed to Heinz Field. After some pizza, wings, and Chinese at the football field, some of us went to the back of the stadium to the Carnegie Science Center. The Science Center had many activities and we even went to the “Stranger Things Laser Show” in its planetarium. The experience was quite mesmerizing and definitely kept me from sleeping in the
planetarium’s heavenly leather seat. The day ended with a spectacular view of the hills of Pittsburg in the Allegheny station.

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