By Caitlin Jennings, Communications Specialist, Society for Science & the Public
One reason the Society started an alumni program, and encouraged connections through social media sites, such as the SSP alumni group on LinkedIn, is so alumni can continue connecting with and inspiring each other long after the awards have been given and the return flights have landed. Terik Daly (Intel ISEF 2005, 2006, 2007; Intel STS 2007 Semifinalist) is one of the many Society alumni who reach out to young scientists to help them with their work.
At Intel ISEF, Terik remembers the strong sense of belonging that came with the week-long event. “You have this network that you can connect to, with people who are intelligent and who are engaging and have some of the same interests as you do, and it’s a place where you can really make some friends that last a long time.”
When he moved to Provo, Utah to attend Brigham Young University, Terik got involved in the local science fair by assisting in organizing judges, helping with teacher workshops, and mentoring students to help the winners of the Utah fairs do well at Intel ISEF. “He’s really good at being able to look at a project and say ‘this is how you make it better,’” says Lisa Clarke, Central Utah Science and Engineering Fair Manager. “He’s really good at helping them get it to the next level.”
This year, Terik mentored two of the Intel ISEF 2011 Finalists, Ryan Baker and Jane Cox. Ryan did a project on wind power and Jane studied meteors, which is what Terik studied in high school and continues to work on as a geology student. He also plans to pursue a Ph.D. in planetary sciences. Ryan won a second place special award from GE Energy and Jane’s project received Best of Category and the European Union Contest for Young Scientists award, which includes a trip to Europe to exhibit her project. “It was nice to see how helping students who are already so motivated and so talented can help bring them to that next level,” Terik says, adding that SSP’s programs had such a strong impact on him that “I’m invested in helping other students…experience [Intel] ISEF and have the kind of inspiring experience I had.”