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Intel ISEF 2013: Student Observer Viewpoint, Part 4

Students from the Hudson County Science Fair in New Jersey are attending Intel ISEF 2013 as Observers with Society Fellow Marie Aloia. Below is their blog post about their experience on the fifth day of the event.

By Chrystal Spencer and Habiba Bobboy

Today was a very busy day for us. We had to help out with Public Day of the Intel ISEF 2013, during which the fair is open to students from all over Phoenix to spark a scientific interest in every one of them. Our assignment today was to facilitate a lab activity called the Forensic Science Challenge; students were given the opportunity to play the role of crime scene investigators by analyzing given pieces of evidence to determine the perpetrator(s) in a hypothetical homicide. In the lab, we were the “CSIs” assigned to help the students in their investigation, giving them relevant clues about the case.

After our assignments were complete, we decided to grab some lunch and check out some of the finalists’ exhibits; this was the most amazing part of the day. Each and every project was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of students who were passionate about science. The Exhibit Hall represented a haven in which students from every region of the social spectrum could come together and share their scientific passion. Later on, we returned to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the Special Awards Ceremony. When we arrived back at the Convention Center, we decided to relax in the e-lounge since today was the last day that it would be open. The interior designer of the room gave us handfuls of special elastic wristbands inspired by the work of last year’s finalists and exclusively for this year’s Intel ISEF participants.

The students were not the only visitors on Public Day.  The Expo area also hosted several visitors from the animal kingdom, including rattlesnakes, lizards, tortoises, and a special little alligator named “Stubby.”  Stubby lost his tail in an accident and was fitted with an ergonomically correct replacement tail.

Soon after, we said our final goodbyes to the many friends we had made over the past week and made our way to the award ceremony. The award ceremony, though very long, was inspiring. It encouraged me (Chrystal) to work extremely hard next year on my science fair project in hopes of being a finalist at Intel ISEF 2014. Overall, we had a very eventful day. This week was most certainly one to remember, full of memories that will last a lifetime.

By Marie Aloia, Society Fellow

When I wasn’t attending all the cool events at Intel ISEF with my students, I was busy in my role as a member of the Intel ISEF Advisory Council helping run the many symposia that were offered for students, teachers, fair directors and judges. These are very informative sessions on a wide variety of topics covering everything from how to present your display and talk to a judge, to technical details about how to run a regional science fair, how to file a patent, become an entrepreneur, get accepted to MIT, and apply thermodynamic principles to economics. There were also “listening” sessions to help improve the Intel ISEF experience. For teachers it’s a huge opportunity for professional development and networking with the best.  I always come home with so much more to share with my students than I imagined.

For additional information about the Education Outreach program on Public Day or to register your school group to attend Intel ISEF 2014 in Los Angeles, please contact us at