The world brightest scientists gather at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and they are all still in school!
When you think of a the worlds brightest scientist convention you tend to think of elderly men and women, dressed in white coats, talking in what seems to be a foreign language, in a Pinky and the Brain kinda way. That is the picture I had in mind when I was invited to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix , Arizona.
To my surprise when I arrived at the convention, I was greeted to a sight of 1760 young scientists, makers and entrepreneurs from 75 countries, regions and territories who descended on Phoenix to compete for approximately $4 million in awards and scholarships.
Not anyone with a simple “water-cycle-erupting- volcano”can attend this event. Each student needs to earn their place at the convention by winning their local, regional and national science fairs. Only the best of the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF where doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work. Mainly because only doctoral-level scientists can actually understand what these kids have come up with!
The South African Representation
Among the 1760 finalists, 1081 are from the US and the balance are from abroad. These include 7 finalists from South Africa:
- If you want to know about the “Nocturnal Behavior of the Greater Kudu” ask grade 12, Nomthuthuzeli Fuleni from Klerksdorp, South Africa.
- Need info about the “Human Disturbance of Blister Bush in Platteklip Gorge, Table Mountain”? just ask grade 10 Amber De Decker fromCape Town, South Africa.
- AryanMootheeram fromLadysmithSouth Africa who is in grade11, can explain about the “Recycled and Organic Materials for Energy”
- MarcolynArumugam fromDurbanSouth Africa in grade 12 can chat about “Safe Disposal of Household Mercury Containing Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs”
- “Concrete + Acid Mine Drainage = A Sustainable Solution” is the domain of grade 11 BrynnCauldwell fromJohannesburgSouth Africa
- “Superconductors and Magnetism” is what grade 11 AngusThring fromCape TownSouth Africa will be showcasing
- Anything to do with “Electric Space Propulsion: An Exploration into Innovative Propellant Solutions Involving the Testing of an Electromagnetic Drive” is the jurisdiction of grade 12 PaulStansell fromJohannesburg South Africa
(And now you see why you need doctoral-level scientists to evaluate these projects !)
Intel Believes in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
This is the world’s largest high school science research competition, encourages millions of students to explore their passion for developing innovations that change the way we work and live. Intel took on title sponsorship of the International Science and Engineering Fair in 1997 as part of an effort to bring greater attention to math and science achievement.
Intel spearheads the International Science and Engineering Fair and works closely with dozens of partners across business, academic, government and science-focused sponsors to provide the support and awards for the international competition.
Young people are the key to future innovation, and a solid education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) combined with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and digital literacy are crucial for their success.
The competition is run between the May 8th and May 13th where the winners will be announced at the end of the week.
ps. Pinky and the Brain would be proud !
*PHOTO CREDIT: Intel/Kathy Wolfe3