2015 Alumni Comments

“Pharmacoenvironmentology – Developing a Baseline for PPCP Contaminant Levels at the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge
My name is Hannah Fischer and I recently went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) May 10-15, 2015. I attended as an alternate from our regional fair. There were over 1700 students representing 78 countries who came to compete on an international level. It was amazing to meet and interact with people that live half way across the world! It opened my eyes to the capabilities and possibilities of people no matter what race, religion, or place they live. I learned new things and ideas from each project that I read, and I gained new insight to problems affecting other areas of our world. I met new people and gained new friends. I had a wonderful time doing it all! It is an extraordinary experience and I hope to attend again. I recommend attending this event , it is truly a wonderful, educational, and inspiring experience.
-Hannah Fischer, Sierra Grand High School, International ISEF Attendee 2015

“Fields for Flight: Effects of Magnetic Fields on Butterfly Navigation”
My Experience at ISEF was a once in a lifetime experience; I will most likely remember it for a long time to come. If I were to use one word to describe the experience, I would say it was amazing, it allowed me to express my scientific side to people with the same interest. I have always loved science ever since I understood what science was exactly, and science fair allowed me to show my love for science outside of an ordinary classroom. Of course, what I loved about ISEF is that, in my eyes, it’s not just about science, even though that is why everyone is gathered there; it’s about meeting people of the same interest, it shows that people can band together and accomplish great things (no matter their nationality) if people have the same interest. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world and ISEF showed me that I am not the only one with an interest and hunger to explore the scientific field.
-Jeremiah Etter, Monte Vista High School, International ISEF Attendee 2015
“SMART Cane: A Technology Integrated Device to Reduce the Fall Susceptibility of the Elderly”
Attending the ISEFS in 2014 and 2015 have been some of the most incredible experiences of my life. My first ISEF left me open-mouthed. It was truly inspiring to see so much advancement to science in such a small space, and by so young of people. I most enjoyed the keynote speaker and the Universal Studios night.
By the time ISEF 2015 rolled around, I had my footing better. With the initial shock and awe gone, I was able to dig deeper into the ISEF experience. Particularly, I made a greater effort to actually communicate with kids from other countries, rather than just horde their pins. It is truly inspiring to meet so many kids from so many different countries, in peace, in the name of science. This was probably my favorite part of ISEF 2015, along with kayaking the Ohio and trying the motion-sensor video games. While I disappointingly did not place, the conversations and opportunities ISEF presented me for the development of my project were incredible.
In June I was invited by one of the state science fair award sponsors to attend one of their “Inventor’s Round Table” meetings and present my project. There, I met a man who owns a rapid prototyping company, and we are now working on 3D printing a sleeker prototype of my cane in anticipation of presenting it to potential licensers.
Also in June, I attended a National FBLA conference in Chicago, and had the opportunity to partake in a leadership course called “Business Incubator.” At this course, more than 200 high school students formed teams, created a product, and pitched it to fellow students and “sharks” in a mock shark tank. My team formed our business “Freedom Cane” around my science fair project, and walked away with the top prize of $1000.
Finally, I was invited by Popular Science to do a camera shoot about my project for their video series entitled “Generation Make,” which is intended to encourage young students to become more interested in the STEM fields. This opportunity came after they read an article about my project published in the SSP blog during ISEF 2015. I completed the shoot in early August, and it was an incredible experience. The video is amazing, and they are expecting to post it on their website within the next several weeks.
Overall, I am extremely excited at the places my project is going. I am forever in debt to science fair for making this dream a reality. “

-Mary Hood – Sargent High School, 2014 International ISEF attendee; 2015 Colorado State Science Fair International ISEF Attendee
“Do Certain Traits, Skills, or Characteristics Affect Bird Estimating and Can a Computer Model Improve Estimating Accuracy? You Can Count On It!”
This year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania was just incredible! I went as the student observer for the San Luis Valley Regional Science Fair, and had an amazing time! It was unbelievable how many countries, languages, and students were represented there. I was very fortunate to be able to experience that amazing week at the Intel ISEF.
To start, I really enjoyed the opening ceremony! I really appreciated all presentations from the guest speakers. It was very interesting to hear what they had to say about their careers and ideas. Additionally, the Roll Call was very entertaining! I loved seeing all of the different country representatives come up to stage with their posters! But, of course, the most exciting part was the X-Pogo Stunt Men! They performed incredible tricks, including front flips and back flips, all while jumping on pogo sticks!
The most inspiring part of the trip though, was listening to the Nobel Laureates speak. They had great advice on becoming successful, working hard, and life in general. It was wonderful to hear geniuses talking to me, telling me to never give up, work hard and do my best! At the end of the panel, I actually got to meet H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine!
However, I must say, my favorite part about the week was the pin exchange! I met so many people from so many extraordinary countries! I exchanged pins with students from Australia, China, Ireland, South Korea, Canada, Brazil and many others! What truly amazed me, was that almost everyone I talked to knew how to say “Hello,” and “Where are you from?” in English! All in all, it was a terrific night!
Overall, I had a remarkable week in Pittsburg at the Intel ISEF! It was an experience that will remain with me my whole life! I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given to go to the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2015, I would like to thank everyone who helped me get there!
-Alyssa Rawinski, Monte Vista Jr High School, Intel/ISEF Student Observer 2014
“Fueling the Future Phasae 4:Contructing an Aqueous Vehicle Powered by a Microbial Fuel Cell”
I started participating in San Luis Valley Regional Science Fair my fifth grade year. I’d loved science my whole life and it was an eye-opening experience, for the first time, to be around adults and other youth who shared my love of science. I have continued in science fair from fifth grade on, including this year, my senior year in high school. For the past four years, my projects have focused on the advancement of microbial fuel cell technology and integration of this technology into the real world. I am currently researching how microbial fuel cells can be used as biosensors.
Beginning in seventh grade and to the present, I have been selected to participate in Colorado Science and Engineering Fair. Through CSEF, opportunities have been presented to me that I could never have imagined. I was selected to present at Colorado Rural Electric Association Energy Innovations Summit and Spark! Colorado on the Cutting Edge of Energy Innovation. At these events, I met people who encouraged my research and pushed me to try harder in my scientific endeavors. My sophomore year, I was given the chance to compete for a place at the Frontiers of Science Institute. I was selected for this event and it changed my life. Because of my achievements at science fair, I performed graduate level research and met people with whom I am still friends.
San Luis Valley Regional Science Fair initiated its student observer program for the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2011 and I was selected as the first student observer. At ISEF, I met young scientists from around the world. It was an incredible experience to interact with people from all walks of life who shared a common love of the STEM disciplines. Since attending ISEF as a seventh grader, it has been my goal to attend once again as a high school student.
When people ask me how I have become the person I am today, I always answer science fair. Science fair has given me experiences, self-confidence, and academic rigor that nothing else in my life could. Science fair is the reason I stayed in high school. It has given me goals for which to strive. I would not be me without science fair.

-Kelsey Lindbloom Salida High School, CSEF Attendee 2012 – 2015, Intel/ISEF Student Observer 2011

My name is Keaton Fischer, a 7th grader from Sierra Grande School. I had the opportunity to attend ISEF as a student observer. I was really amazed by the amount of students and projects at this event, there were 2 floors with projects displayed. I met students and learned new things at the workshops I attended. There was a volunteer day, where myself and other student observers helped with school group tours that came in to ISEF for the day. I enjoyed my visit to ISEF and I look forward to attending ISEF as a participant in high school.
-Keaton Fischer, Sierra Grand Middle School, Intel/ISEF Student Observer 2015

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