tdaly
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Congratulations! Welcome to Intel ISEF 2007!

Postby tdaly » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:14 pm

Hey everybody!

Let me be the next to congratulate you on being an Intel ISEF Finalist. At ISEF you will have to opportunity to meet and mingle with students from around the world, top scientists, and corporate bigwigs.

Many universities and companies do recruiting at ISEF, so it's also a great place to make college and work-world contacts.

Let me give a acoupe quick words of advice:
1. Bring LOTS of lapel-type pins representing your region. An entire evening of ISEF is devoted to trading pins. The ones from Costa Rica and China are really cool, but they do go fast!
2. Bring a swimming suit.
3. Have fun! OK, I know this sounds cliche, but really, have fun. Only 1400 students of the 500-900 million in the world make it to ISEF! At this point, there's no place to go but up. Stop stressing and losing sleep about ISEF. Do your best, but have fun.


Now to break the ice, let me tell you about my first ISEF experience. The first time I attending ISEF, I was supposed to take the AP Bio exam one morning. I was up really late the night before though, at the student mixer until about 11. When I woke up the next morning I look at the clock and saw it was 9:00 am. The AP test started at 7! Moral of the story: I slept through my AP test. I totally freaked out at the time, but looking back now, I just laugh!

My weeks ISEF were some of the best of my life. I've never ahd so much fun, learned so much, and got so little sleep . . . Congratulations on your achievement: you are now officially in the top .00001% of high school students in the world.
All the best,
Terik

AerospaceGuy
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Postby AerospaceGuy » Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:35 pm

Thanks! :lol: to the AP story....It's pretty cool that they let us take the AP tests there if we need to. Good thing I don't though!

I'm trying to find those pins you talked about but everyone at my school doesn't know how to help me ("Um....we have stickers!!!"). I think I'll just go with city pins instead of school ones. Any advice about this at all? Or at the very least, any funny stories? What did you do with all the pins you got from everyone else?
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AerospaceGuy
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Postby AerospaceGuy » Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:36 pm

Oh and by the way, what is the dance like? Is everybody a wall-flower? lol
O God, Thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small!
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benjaminpollack
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Postby benjaminpollack » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:52 pm

Pins from your city or state will be great. Since its an international fair most students will be able to identify with states or major cities rather than schools. You might think about contacting your state or town tourism board, sometimes they have a lot extra or might know where to get them at a discounted rate. If you tell the tourism office that you are using them to promote your city or state they will probably be especially helpful.

When you register at ISEF you will be given an ID Badge which has your name, project id number, hometown, and state. The necklace that it is attached to is blue and says Intel ISEF. As soon as you get it, fill it with your own pins. This way when you meet someone new you can trade. Just remember to save plenty for the pin exchange. Many students give them all away prior to the event and are left with no pins from other places that night. Also tie your necklace. There is a plastic tab that holds the two ends together, however the weight of the pins often break the tab. Its really really expensive to replace it if you loose it and you need it to get into almost every event. A Ziploc bag usually works to keep all of the pins that you collect. WHen you return home after the competition, you can do one of a million things with them (attach them to a piece of felt and hang it on the wall or frame them) If you come up with a cool way of displaying them, please let us know (mine are still in ziploc bags)

As for the dance, the dynamic changes every year. I have competed at ISEF twice. When it was held in Phoenix it was a little more tame while at Indianaoplis last year it was much more upbeat. The Brazilian contingency was much more involved. A larger portion of the students were on the dance floor in Indianaoplis thatn Phoenix. Dancing is completely optional. Personally I met up with some friends I had met throughout the year at other competitions and we talked for a large portion of the time. You can participate as little or as much as you choose.

Have Fun!!!
Benjamin Pollack
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tdaly
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Postby tdaly » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:52 pm

Aerospace Guy,

Good idea about taking city pins. My school doesn't have pins either, so I take pins from local tourist attractions. You could do the same. (e.g. if you are from Paris, you might bring Eiffel Tower pins, etc.) As far as advice about pin trading: be bold! Since the pin trading happens at the first student mixer, everybody tends to be kind of nervous at first. Don't be afraid to go up to a complete stranger and ask if they want to trade pins. Another piece of advice: don't go around in groups of people from the same place you are, because no one wants 5 of the exact same pin. I usually go around with a group of people I've never met before. Moral of the story: be brave and just do it! Really, the more time you spend meeting random people, the more fun you will have.

Funny story about pin trading. Hmmm... I was once going around with a group made up of a roughly equal mix of both genders. We ran into a group of Brazilians and had a great time talking with them. When it came time to part our ways and trade pins, the Brazilian group, which happened to be all male, only traded with females in my group. People I've talked to think ISEF must be some sort of geek-fest, but it's not. It's a gathering whole bunch of teenagers from all over the world (who happen to be intelligent.)

During my stint as an ISEF-eligible student, I've collected between 150-200 pins. I have a bulletin board on my wall that is covered in them. Whenever I look up from my desk and see the pins, I smile and remember the awesome times I've had at ISEF.

As to the dance: there isn't always a dance at ISEF. I haven't looked closely enough at this year's itinerary to know whether there is one or not. My experience has been, though, that while there are wallflowers, the major of people are in their dancing. The delegates from Latin America usually are at the center of the dance floor and make a significant contribution to the energy level and fun-factor of the dance. In my experience, most of the wallflowers have been American...
All the best,
Terik

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Postby Amber_MIT » Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:43 am

I also got pins from tourist places. Sometimes if you offer to buy a lot, you can bargain and get a discount. You can also go to your city's town hall or other government office and ask if they would sponsor pins. I just told them I was representing the county/city at the international science fair and they gave me quite a few pins for free! If you know anyone who works at a local business that sells pins, also ask them. The important part is to try and get some creative pins so that everyone will want to trade with you! Make sure to get at least fifty, even more is better (i think i brought over 100 my second trip). The pins run out quickly. Oh, and during the pin trading night, find all the international people first! Their pins go in the blink of an eye, and some of them are really really cool.

Most of the students do some dancing. At the Cleveland fair in 2003 there were quite a few people up on the dance floor, in Phoenix it was very different since we were wandering around a western themed mini-town, so there were other things to do. I also just enjoyed talking with a bunch of random people, who i'm still friends with today.
Stuck? Check out our project guides!
Project Guide: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_guide_index.shtml
Advanced Project Guide: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/competitions_index.shtml

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