2019 ISEF- Monday Events

Posted: 14 May 2019

Filed Under: ISEF, Newsletters, Our Fair

Reported by Cynthia Chen

Today was the first full day of ISEF. I woke up bright and early because there’s a three hour time difference from here and Connecticut. We all went downstairs and had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Then, we got the posters, boxes, and binders we had shipped over to the hotel from back home.

See Monday’s Photos

After arriving at the convention center, we each went to our respective stations in the judging room to set up our posters. I found out that I was just two stations away from Anisa and Sirina! I met the boy next to me, a first-time competitor like myself, who was from Taipei. He was super friendly, and helped me to set up my poster (my height made it a struggle). After setting my materials on the table, I went to the hub to fill out forms, and then came back to my station to wait for the D&S inspections. In the meantime, I was able to explore some of the rest of the posters, especially the ones in my category. They ranged from solar cells, to wind turbines, to optimizing science behind cultural drums, all of which I found remarkably fascinating. I even met and conversed with a girl from Azerbaijan who was on her way to creating a company with her prototype which could harness energy from rainwater. She explained to me that she had attended several conventions with her product, and that her prototype had garnered interest there, especially with those from countries who normally receive an abundance of rain. She also showed me a video explaining the functionality of her product. She told me she had gained funding towards her project to implement it in rainy areas for it to work in the real-world. I thought that was amazing. I really believe that seeing the results of a project, as well as and its impact on people after working hard on it, is one of the greatest rewards of science and a science-related career.

After a short time, the inspectors came over to my project. What’s remarkable is that just about everyone here is connected to STEM in some way. My first safety inspector was a science teacher interested in learning about the backgrounds of the ISEF finalists. He inquired about my previous research involvements, and about different aspects of my project. Learning about the individual stories of the people here has been very enlightening and inspiring, and it has made me feel so lucky to be here. After my second inspector gave me the heads up, I was good to go. I left the room to do a bit of exploring. I went into the Quad and got my polaroid taken. We were supposed to write on the bottom of it what inspired me, so I wrote the variety of opportunities that are just at the tips of our fingers.

Opening Ceremony

CSEF Competitors in front of stage

Following dinner was the highly anticipated opening ceremony to kick off the week’s events. When I walked into the auditorium I was definitely overwhelmed by the size and energy of the people there. One of the most memorable moments of the night was our keynote speaker, Dr. Feng Zhang, a researcher who had played a huge role in the development of the CRISPR method. He explained that the joys associated with scientific processes and discovery will leave you craving for more and left us with two big messages: to embrace working with others and to constantly look for inspiration. Then, we ended the ceremony with a huge country shoutout of all 80+ countries at ISEF. It was so fun seeing all of the short videos of the country representatives. That wrapped up my day.

Opening Ceremony Keynote Speaker

This could not have been possible without CSEF and I feel immensely grateful to be a part of this experience! Everyone here has been so friendly and has made me feel at home. I’m so looking forward to the rest of this week. Cheers and good night!

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