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On May 12, Society for Science & the Public, in partnership with the Intel Foundation, announced the winners of the Special Award Organization prizes at Intel ISEF 2016. Special award organizations are corporations, government agencies, universities, or nonprofits who sponsor awards for finalists at Intel ISEF.
Student winners are ninth through twelfth graders who earned the right to compete at the Intel ISEF 2016 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair.
How many chances are you given to ask questions of a Nobel Prize and science award-winners? At the Excellence in Science and Technology panel on Tuesday, the Intel ISEF 2016 finalists were given that opportunity.
The esteemed panel included: J. Michael Bishop, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989; Martin Chalfie, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008; Elissa Hallem, who won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012; and Cato Laurencin, who won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2016.
Amid the palpable electricity buzzing in the concert-sized hall full of Intel ISEF 2016 finalists, there were two towering Tesla coils and a member of Plasma Phonic wearing a special suit in between them. He pushed his face directly into the path of electricity, at one point sifting the current through his hands like a stream of water.
Beeping and 8-bit music from video games filled the air. A room full of middle school and high school students tried to beat, and break, video games during one workshop of the Student Observer program on Wednesday morning.
While Intel ISEF is bustling along, a Student Observer cohort gathers to experience workshops and the finalists' projects together.
Gwynne Ash is an Intel ISEF 1983 finalist who returned as a Grand Awards Judge for Intel ISEF 2016. Now she's excited to see the 2016 finalists' projects. Gwyne is overwhelmed by the quality of their research.
Journey from finalist to judge: I don’t remember not doing science fairs. It's the ultimate in self-expression for kids, if they’re interested in science.
The Society alumni network offers "a chance to reconnect with something that inspired me as a little kid," Suman Nag said at the alumni breakfast Tuesday morning during Intel ISEF festivities.
Suman was surrounded by a room full of Society alumni from all three competitions and years. A handful had achieved the trifecta of competing in each program.
"I haven't been in a community yet that can replicate the feeling at Intel ISEF and during the pin exchange," said Suman, the founder and executive director of ROSA, a DNA testing company. He was an Intel ISEF 2006-2008 finalist.
Learning how to communicate science research effectively is critical. It's the difference between the public believing in a bunk study and funding the important research that scientists do every day.
Twenty-five middle school students from around the world said "hello" in their native languages, from Navajo, to Chinese, to Hebrew, to Welsh on Sunday night. They decorated team posters with catchy names and icebreaker activities.