Five Connecticut students won awards at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) — the world’s largest pre-college science fair — including Danbury High School junior Janine Alysa Kerr.
The students traveled to the ISEF, held this week in Los Angeles, to compete with 1,753 high school students from over 70 countries, regions and territories around the globe for over $5 million in awards.
The all-female Connecticut student delegation travelled all expenses paid as part of their prize for earning top awards at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) held in March.
“It is especially noteworthy that this year we have all young women representing our state,” said Bob Wisner, Director of the CSEF. “It is a testament to Connecticut’s science programs, and we are thrilled to have them come home with so much.”
Kerr’s project “Biological Control of the Invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil Using Aquatic Weevils” won her a full tuition scholarship to Drexel University.
Kerr also submitted the following to the event’s newsletter while in Los Angeles:
Thursday was one of the best days yet as the Connecticut Delegation rose early for an alarmingly large French toast breakfast. It became a competition to see who could finish the most, and surprisingly, Bridget won. With the stress of judging already over, we were well-fed and ready to head over to the convention center for public viewing.
Public viewing was an amazing experience. There were many young school kids from the area and it was truly rewarding to hear them say, as they were walking away from your project, “WOW, these projects are SO cool.” Towards the end of the public viewing we all had a chance to look at projects from the other categories and we had fun declaring that none of us understood anything in the “Mathematical Sciences” category.
After public viewing, we traipsed down the block for a delicious lunch at Wolfgang Puck. On the way there, Bridget and I came across an injured sparrow and decided to take it upon ourselves to try and save it, to which Mrs. Frattalone responded: “Girls we don’t have time for birds!!”
Once at the restaurant, Emma and I continued the tradition of wanting to order the same thing every time we go out to eat, so we both ended up with Gnochi (the pronunciation of which was debated for a while) with everyone else having equally as delectable meals. We all got a bit nostalgic and talked about our future CT ISEF Delegation reunions while belting out the choruses to Maroon 5 songs.
At long last, it was time for “team Connecticut” to head to the Special Award Ceremony. With our running catch phrase being “CT takes LA” half of us returned to the hotel with a special award. Isabelle received the CERN Award, which includes a week long trip to Switzerland, as well as one other award. Megan received the Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. award, and I was humbled enough to receive the Drexel Award (Mom, I’m goin’ to college!). Anu also won an award from the American Chemical Society.
With the week winding down, we’ve all been enjoying every minute possible and are looking forward to the Grand Award Ceremony on Friday.
Junior, Danbury High School