2017 ISEF Newsletter #2 from Sophie Edelstein

Posted: 16 May 2017
Fair Year:

Filed Under: ISEF, Newsletters, Other Fairs, Our Fair, Scholarships

Intel ISEF Newsletter 2017 (Monday)
Sophie Edelstein, Sophomore,
Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven

After a much needed night’s rest, we started our day with a hearty and delicious breakfast at the Stafford + Mathis Kitchen located in our hotel. The topic of conversation over breakfast consisted of Mr.Wisner’s days in the science fair and plans for the week ahead. Concluding, we headed downstairs to the lobby to catch our ride to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. The ride there was full of a slight glimpse of the Hollywood sign and Koreatown. Once arrived, we started our way through the museum where we looked at numerous fossils and played with an exhibit that simulated what it’s like to be stuck in tar. The viewing of the actual tar pits was next. Pits 91 and 23 are the pits that are currently being excavated, which we had the chance to view, though the actual observation pit was closed to only school groups at the time. We all headed back to the hotel and travelled a few blocks back to the convention center to finish up the last bit of project set up and make sure our project numbers were not on the doomed project infraction list. The group explored a bit more of LA by having a quick lunch in LA Live and then walking to Target a few blocks north of our hotel where we supplied ourselves with the essentials (granola bars, ramen noodles, etc).

By the time we were back to the hotel, everyone took some down time to quickly rest up for the Opening Dinner and Ceremony. Dinner took place in a massive hall full of just about every team competing this week. The opening ceremony consisted of a pre-show by the famous iLuminate, a dance group featured on the show America’s Got Talent. The keynote speaker this evening was Manu Prakash of Stanford. Prakash spoke of our world’s current frustration when it comes to the fields of STEM, though not in a negative way. He stated that due to development of such aggressive diseases, climate change, and lack of belief in science, it is our job as the innovators and scientists of tomorrow to take charge and power through these roadblocks. Prakash reminded all the 2017 ISEF competitors of something very important, accessibility. Over a billion children lack accessibility to simple necessities, let alone science, and that is why Prakash’s work aims at making science and technology accessible to just about anyone in an efficient and cost-effective way for example through one of his inventions titled the “Foldscope.” Almost everyone from team Connecticut has agreed that the keynote speech spoke volumes. As I write, we are all off to bed now in order to be well rested for tomorrow morning’s trip to the California Science Center!

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