Skip to Content


Intel ISEF 2013: Student Observer Viewpoint, Part 2

Students from the Hudson County Science Fair in New Jersey are attending Intel ISEF 2013 as Observers with Society Fellow Marie Aloia. Read on to learn more about their experiences.

By Charmaine Castro and Sharif Abdelbaky, Student Observers, Intel ISEF 2013

Early this morning, we all went to a symposium with Nobel Prize winner and experimental physicist, Douglas Osheroff. I came in knowing nothing about him or what he did. I came out being super fascinated with super liquids, super fluidity, and helium-3. One wouldn’t expect a Nobel Prize winner to be treated like a rock star, but at Intel ISEF, it was different; before and after the session, crowds of people were around him, following his every move. Sharif was lucky enough to get the back of his ID signed while Alfred asked to get his stuffed “bunny suit” figure signed.

Having a couple of hours to spare before our next session, we all decided to go to the e-Lounge. Once we walked in, Sharif was immediately drawn to the presentation by Brent Brushnell (co-founder of Two Bit Circus). The next presentation was given by Intel’s Futurist, Brian David Johnson; he talked about the [Tomorrow] project and [science fiction competition] for students from ages 13 to 25.

From the super fast computers to the awesome music, the highlight of that time was meeting people from other countries. Hearing words like “hyung” and “oppa,” I turned around and asked if they were from South Korea. They smiled and cheered when I spoke a couple of Korean words. Later, Alfred joined Charmaine and Chrystal when they conversed with the Filipinos.  Right before leaving the e-Lounge, the group ran into some Italians. Claudio, Andrei, and Francesco were friendly and enthusiastic about their projects, and the New Jerseyians hit it off with them right away!

Around 2pm, at the Nobel Prize panel, the rock star treatment continued. The three-section hall was filled with people who wanted to hear J. Michael Bishop, H. Robert Horvitz, Sir Harold Kroto, and Douglas Osheroff talk. The whole session went well; the scientists garnered a great amount of cheers as they gave intellectual yet witty answers. After the panel, we were able to have a personal one-on-one with the scientists. Sharif met and conversed with J. Michael Bishop. I was fortunate enough to be the first in line to meet Sir Kroto with Mina and Jan-alfred.

To finish off the night, we all walked across the street to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks play the Braves. To our great surprise, we were seated in front of our new Italian friends. We had a blast cheering for the Diamondbacks, learning Italian sports chants, talking about school and future plans, and calling the Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream we were eating “diabetes in a cup” but enjoying it anyway. The D-backs won, 2-0.  It was a great night and we are definitely looking forward to what is ahead of us here at Intel ISEF.