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Radio is very forgiving, and you'd be surprised to know just how much frantic effort took place behind the scenes when NPR's Robert Siegel interviewed two Society alumni about the 2016 White House Science Fair. Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna and Annie Ostojic chatted with Mr. Siegel about their research, how they were inspired to research microwaves and cement processing, and their goals for the future.
"What you don't hear [in the interview] is that we are running around the lobby of Hotel Washington trying to find a quiet corner, and when we finally found an alcove by an ATM, workers showed up to put in a new ATM," said Caitlin Sullivan, the Director of Science Education Programs and Manager of the Intel Science Talent Search.
"If they knew what NPR was, they didn't seem to care or be at all hindered by our pleas. Of all the months that pass by with barely anyone going in this alcove they have to pick that exact moment to replace the machine!" she jests. Caitlin also begged the front desk to turn the lobby music down during the interview.
"This will go down in my book as one of my favorite White House Science Fair moments," she said.
During the fair, Caitlin got a hug from the White House protector; Lisa Icenroad, Manager of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, got a photo with Bill Nye the "Science Guy"; Maya Ajmera, the President & CEO and publisher of Science News, sat in the front row during the President's speech; Allie Stifel, Associate Director of Science Education Programs and Manager of Broadcom MASTERS, found important guests to speak with Annie Ostojic, one of the Society's alumni attending the fair; the Broadcom pin on Avery Clowes' lapel was a blazing beacon on screen; Hari Bhimaraju advertised her app in her interview; and more.
"What a great day!" Caitlin said, echoing the feelings of all 23 Society alumni involved in the sixth White House Science Fair.