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Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby scibudadmin » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:15 pm

Science Buddies is pleased to introduce three individuals who have a wealth of knowledge about Intel ISEF and other top science competitions. They are here to respond to your questions and help prepare you for ISEF.

Terik Daly (winner of the Intel ISEF "Best in Category" Grand Award, three time JSHS finalist, Intel STS Semifinalist, Siemens Semifinalist, and winner of the "Best Project" award in the California State Science Fair) has earned more than $50,000 in cash, scholarships, trips, computers, software, and more. You can, too! He'll help you put together a powerful display board, answer all your judging questions, bring you up to date on what to expect, how to dress, and more. Need help understanding the rules and regulations of the Intel ISEF? No problem. Terik now works with SRC committees and fair directors; he's a one-stop shop for all your Intel ISEF questions.

Amber Hess is currently a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering at MIT. In 2005 she was an Intel Science Talent Search Finalist, a semifinalist for the Siemens Westinghouse competition, and won a First Place Grand Award in Chemistry at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which she also attended in 2003. She was a Mentor in the Science Buddies Online Mentoring Program for three years and also wrote a number of articles for Science Buddies. You can read more about her top science competition experiences in "Amber's 2005 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Blog" and "Judging Tips for Top Science Competitions" on the Science Buddies website.

Justin Spahn is currently a sophomore and majoring in aeronautical and mechanical engineering at UC Davis. In 2007 he attended the Intel ISEF in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the Energy and Transportation category. His project dealt with the design efficiency of the curvature of airplane wings. He has edited and written several projects in Science Buddies’ Aerodynamics and Hydrodynamics project idea section, and developed the Science Buddies wind tunnel design. He is a Science Buddies representative with a local Californian ISEF-affiliated science fair, so he has a good deal of firsthand information about science fairs of all levels.

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Postby krishadesai » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:03 pm

What topics do you recommend to win Intel? Where can you find equipment for complicated topics?

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Re: ISEF Topics

Postby benjaminpollack » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:17 am

Students enter their research from a variety of categories There are 17 different categories you can conduct reserach in. A complete list of the Intel ISEF category list can be found at:

There are no "best" categories to be in. Conduct research in an area that interests you. The judges are not just looking for good research, they are looking for passionate researchers.

When you develop a topic, let us know and we will be happy to direct you in finding the equipment that you will need.

Some great information that Science buddies has assembled regarding top science competitions can be found at:

Good Luck!!! Let us know what topic your interested in.
Benjamin Pollack
Ask an Expert

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Re: Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby tdaly » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:02 pm


Original research an mean a lot of different things. I'm not sure what you mean by "testing similar hypothesis, only be reasonably altering a certain variable such as from temperature to pH for a certain experiment." Can you elaborate further to help me better understand this? To be original or significant, your project needs to contribute something new to the body of science. You may be solving or addressing a particular problem in a new way, developing or refining an existing methodology, or finding the answer to an as of yet unanswered question. To get a sense of what would be original or significant in your particular subject area, you should try to become as familiar as possible with the peer-reviewed literature in your subject area. This will help you understand what has already been done, what people are currently doing, and what needs to be done. Reading such papers will be difficult at first, but if you really take the time to go through them thoroughly and make sure you understand each one, you will find that it gets easier to read them. There really is no substitute for familiarity with the literature.

As to your second paragraph, there really is no problem with a high school research setting under a high school teacher. Many students who go to ISEF do their work in such a setting. The real concern is quality and significance: if you do your project in a high school setting, it needs to be comparable to the quality of work being done by a student in a university setting. Taking the time to become familiar with the literature will help you with this. In addition, asking questions here on the Ask an Expert Forums is a great resource for you. Here you can have professional scientists and engineers respond to your questions and give advice about how to make your project the best and most competitive it can be.
All the best,

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Re: Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby TRUFFLIEPUFF » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:06 pm

When are the deadlines to submit applications or enter usually around for the ISEF?

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Re: Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby tdaly » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:54 pm


In order to qualify for Intel ISEF, you must first compete at a local and then a regional, ISEF-affiliated fair. Most regional fairs are held in March. I would suggest talking to your science teacher or searching online to find out what regional fair you are associated with and then contact them for information about the specific deadlines associated with your specific fair.

Good Luck!
All the best,

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Making a project on Astro-Physics

Postby AstroPie » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:54 am

I am in a stand still coming up with this years project for Canada-Wide, I am in need of ideas to where I can go, I would like to focus on Cosmology/Cosmic Inflation if anyone has ideas or people to go to I would be greatly thankful.

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Re: Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby 3jperrys » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Good job intel :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol: :lol: :) :) :lol: :D :D :D :D :shock: :shock: :? :cry: :cry: :P :? :cry: :oops: :P :x :lol: :D 8) 8) :evil: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :!: :?: :idea: :roll: :arrow: :| :mrgreen:

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Re: Meet Your Intel ISEF Experts!

Postby matt1500 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:28 pm

I've looked over the Intel ISEF rules guidelines, and I'm still unsure of what they mean within the section limitations.
To be clear, I cannot have started my project before January, and the project cannot be over a year long? I've been working on a continuation project, but because of circumstances, I have not yet received the materials and qualified scientist and lab to experiment, so I decided to wait another year before submitting it. All I have so far is a lot of pre-research, and have just finished the specifications of my independent variable (I have another, pending post on this topic). But at this point, to participate in the 2015 fair, I am not eligible, right?
~Thanks, Matt1500

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