2018 ISEF Newsletter #4 from Cristian Rodriguez

Posted: 16 May 2018
Fair Year:

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

Cristian Rodriguez

Junior, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, Windsor

Today was an eventful day to say the least. Although we were able to sleep in, I woke up early enough to go for a swim. With that I found myself extremely tired throughout the day, but the events planned for us kept me alert and attentive. I most definitely had to be because today we had a scenic view of Pittsburg, we listened to inspiring and wonderful speakers, and we danced our hearts out at the mixer.

Atop Monongahela Incline

Pittsburg was hotter than anyone could have expected (we were under the impression that it was going to rain all week). With such nice weather it was originally planned that we go on a ducky tour after eating at HardRock Café. Essentially, we tour around Pittsburg in a vehicle that can both go in the water (river) and drive on land. But we were unable to do this as the river height increased drastically from previous rainfall. But, instead we went up an incline in this large cable box car. We travelled up the mountain and the view was impeccable, although I wish we went at night to see the lights, the heat in combination with the view called for wonderful day ahead of us.

That’s Srikar addressing the panel.

Next came the panel of speakers. These speakers were very talented, ranging from past ISEF contestants who began their own businesses to noble laureates. Now, being in the presence of such intelligent people was daunting at first, but when they spoke of their difficulties in life and how they related to us, it became much more motivational. I not only felt empowered, but I feel that I can speak for the entire group in saying that the panelists moved us in way that sheer self-motivation could not have accomplished. In addition to this, my partner Srikar Godilla was able to ask a question to the Panel. He asked “What’s one part of the scientific or engineering process that most scientists do not do”. They answered that reproducibility needs to improve, and the recording of data/process of research is essential. This panel was truly worth listening to, and I appreciate ISEF for allowing such opportunities to be presented.

Last but not least, came the mixer/dance party. This was another way to get all of the contestants to meet each other. I originally thought that nothing could top the pin exchange, I met so many people then. But this event, unified everyone through music and dance. Initially, to get to the stadium was a nightmare. The subways were congested and we got lost, but in the end when we got there it was all worth it. I danced, sang, socialized, and ate with people from Brazil, UK, Australia, and many more countries. Being in such an accepting environment truly unified us all, and I made contacts that I know for sure I will be speaking to in the future. No where else will give us the network that ISEF has, and for this I thank the organization.

Today was fun, and it was necessary. I’ve learned that I am not so much competing against my peers. But I am more so learning and experiencing what science means in the eyes of others. I have always been told by various mentors that science is cool, but you must be able to communicate and work as a team. ISEF quite literally forces you to communicate and learn from others. Today was fun, and well worth the hard work.

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