2019 ISEF- Tuesday

Posted: 15 May 2019

Filed Under: Our Fair

Report by Annika Morgan

Today we felt the physical heat, tomorrow we feel the emotional heat. It was a crisp 98 today without a cloud in sight, quite the change from our typical humid Connecticut 50’s. We all woke up bright and early from our beneficial jetlag and enjoyed the morning warmth as we walked to the breakfast club restaurant down the street. After an embarrassingly long struggle of positioning all the umbrellas so everyone was in the shade, we all sat down to enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading out on the Desert Belle boat tour.

Breakfast in Phoenix

After everyone had eaten their body weight in potatoes, eggs, french toast, and pancakes we boarded the heavenly air-conditioned van to the boat. We weaved through canyons, cacti, and many many tall red rocks to eventually come to a stop at a seemingly misplaced lake in the center of the desert. We boarded the boat and talked with our sarcastic good-humored captain and tour guide before the cruise started. Once we launched off the dock we floated around the river-bends looking at great bald eagles and their abandoned nests. Did you know that the birds build their nests right into the canyon wall? How cool!

Wild Sheep with her baby

My personal favorite part of the tour was seeing a wild sheep with her baby perched way up on top of a canyon ledge you almost thought they could slip off at any moment. We saw flowering cactuses and learned the history of the canyons themselves as well as some great jeopardy questions about Arizona that I’m sure I’ll use at some point in my life.

Diamondbacks play the Pirates

After being in the hot sun for almost two hours, everyone immediately fell asleep on the way home the second the air conditioning gave us reprieve from the heat. The cat-nap was very needed because we had a baseball game to attend that evening.

We saw the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Philly Pirates and despite a close game, the Pirates did take the win in the end. (but they are closer to CT anyway so I was secretly rooting for them). We all enjoyed our stadium comfort food and found our way back to the hotel to start preparing for the intense day ahead of us.

Some studied their posters, others read up on papers, and a few went to the pool and had a conversation with two head judges in the hot tub. Not only were the judges approachable and funny, they genuinely cared about our work and projects. One of the aspects that makes ISEF so unique is the experience of highly respected experts in your field conversing with you as an equal and actually caring about what you have to contribute.

No matter how each of us prepared, we all settled into bed ready for the day ahead of representing all the work we have done to get here. All the late nights, roadblocks, and poster editing will pay off tomorrow when we have the attention of the time scientists in our respective fields for a few minutes.

Best of luck to everyone!

Annika Morgan

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