By Michele Glidden, Director – Science Education Programs, Society for Science & the Public
Yesterday, at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., the 40 Intel Science Talent Search 2011 finalists shared their work with hundreds of people who attended Public Day. Each year it is so inspiring to see these talented young students discuss new mathematical theorems, creative ways to help the environment, and other innovations. However, what I find even more inspiring is seeing how many people come to honor and learn from these students.
Public Day is always a mix of people, and this year was no different. I recognized some of those huddled around finalists projects who make a point to come every year. Others simply stumbled in after their curiosity prompted them to follow the signs from the street and the museum, and they learned about Intel STS and Society for Science & the Public for the first time. Parents came from across the country to support their kids and beam with pride. And alumni came to reminisce and recall the time they shared their high school research at Public Day, whether it was just a couple of years ago or more than 50 years ago. I think everyone, from scientists to tourists, was impressed with the 2011 finalists, who were able to share their wealth of knowledge as well as their inspiring stories.