SSP provides outstanding independent research opportunities for students with a focus in the sciences. Over the years, I have witnessed students at the high school I teach at approach ISEF with a great deal of excitement, stating that it is the "single best opportunity afforded to students at our school" and it does please me that it is available for those top science students.
In recent years, I've become aware that ISEF is viewed in a similar manner by students, not only across the country, but throughout the World. It is the premier science competition for students and the event they talk about throughout the year.
Broadcom Masters is stimulating a similar interest in our younger students and, I hope, motivating them to pursue ISEF in their "later" years.
Some usefull ideas...
for free ...
One should read, to see if a NON-Profit organization is working and building
in this way
When I was a student I studied seriously and my teachers taught me with great love and devotion responding positively to my curiosity. I became a teacher and they have given me the desire to work seriously and with love. I am grateful.
Its life changing! I found that this really changed my high school experience and my scientific future.
I can honestly say that the programs that SSP provides to the community changed my life. As a student with a learning disability I had little hope of pursuing my dream of becoming a professional scientist. Even many of my teachers encouraged me to 'have more realistic career ideas'. Programs like the Science Fair and STS provided a much needed voice of encouragement in my life. SSP not only encouraged me to complete my own experiments but to present them to the scientific community are part of the competitions they hosted. Through the science fair I was able to meet up with scientists who were willing to look beyond the weakness of my learning disability to mentor the inquisitive youth. Through STS I was able to gain the funds to take my love of science to the next level and attend college. An opportunity that without this type of support would have been nearly impossible. Because of the SSP mission my life was changed. I am no longer the student that teachers didn't expect to graduate from middle school let alone high school. I am now considered one of the top graduate students at my university and my research is slowly changing the world for the better.
I have been involved in Science Fairs for over 22 years and the International Fair since 1994. The parent body (SSP) that supports this fair does a tremendous job. They support the students, the teachers, and all who are trying to keep kids interested and inspired in the sciences, technology, and engineering.
My involvement with the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) was related to my oldest son, Rick in conjunction with the Ninth Annual Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge (DCYSC) co-sponsored with Discovery Communications. It attempted to find “America’s Top Young Scientist of the Year” from a field of about 80,000 US middle school students. Rick was one of the 40 finalists. Although I disagreed with the final decision of the judges ( :-} Rick did not win), it was one of the greatest experiences of his young life. I say this in light of the fact that he had spoken at over a dozen academic conferences by this point, to note only one aspect of his life. He was truly more distressed by the end of the challenge that that he did not win. That really says something about the experience. But what may say more is the fact that he connected with the other finalists to such an extent that he turned down a behind the scenes tour at the Smithsonian to be with his new friends and colleagues after only a hour of knowing them. Many of them still correspond. How cool is that! But my experiences with the SSP did not end there. They have provided Rick and countess other promising high school students with the opportunity to shine at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which Rick attended in both 2009 and 2010. This proved to be at least as rewarding as the DCYSC and he enjoyed it immensely, again failing to bring home one of the big prizes. What does this say about the experience provided by SSP, if even the non-winners (and they can’t all win) bring home so much from their programs. Far from being discouraged, my son hopes to attend the Intel Science Talent Search for this year and also hopes to make it back to ISEF next spring. And once again, the contacts made there will likely last a lifetime. So as much as the science fair experience itself, the opportunity to bring together the best and brightest is a feat unto itself. Rick’s experiences have also inspired both of his younger siblings to become involved in science fairs primarily due to what has been provided with SSP. Even my wife and I became involved as judges at ISEF last year (although they would not let me judge Rick’s project :-} ). Both of us found other categories in which we were qualified and the two of us came away from the experience inspired. Since fifth grade, Rick had been caught up in school and regional science fairs which progressed to DCYSC and state fair since eighth grade. For the last two years, he was honored to participate at ISEF. Not only has this stimulated his interest in science, but it has encouraged him to continue his research on an obscure Asian tortoise, about which very little is known. He has become more proficient and professional interacting with his peers and also sharing his experiences with them stimulating their own interest. SSP not only inspires greatness, but encourages and nurtures it. Rick would not be where he is today with SSP.
The opportunities provided to young people thanks to the dedication of the Society For Science & The Public are incredible. The International Science & Engineering Fair (which I attended three times as the chaperone for our regional fair's participants at ISEF) is the best organized, most professional student event I have ever witnessed. The amount of detail required to arrange facilties and activities in a major city's convention center and various venues around town, arrange hundreds of judges, keynote speakers, sponsors who provide thousands of dollars in scholarships, and volunteers to handle airport transportation, registration, and behind the scenes activities is simply amazing. I miss being able to attend ISEF as it was rewarding both as a parent and a representative of our region. I wish more people knew just how cool this event is. Thanks to this dedicated organization!
I have not come to know SSP through my own work, but through my eldest son participating in science fair. Beginning in fifth grade, my son has been involved in science fair at the regional and then state levels; finally, in tenth and eleventh grades he was invited to ISEF. This process has not only supported his interest in science and intensified his curiosity for doing research, but has also stimulated remarkable personal growth. Watching him mentor, encourage and congratulate his colleagues has been as tremendously rewarding for me as seeing his own advancement. Now, his experiences are motivating his younger sister to get involved as well. Last year, in an effort to be more involved with my son’s work, I accompanied him to the competition and served as a judge for the Medicine and Health Category. Having been an academic physician for the last 13 years, I have been entrenched in scientific research on multiple levels. The caliber of the investigations I evaluated was amazing, the encouragement given these students by the society astounding and the subsequent camaraderie generated by all the participants was inspiring. In a world full of international hatred, it is amazing to see young people given the ability to come together to share scientific ideas all in the name of innovation and conservation. The Society for Science & the Public provides the platform that allows this marvelous annual occurrence to happen. They should be congratulated for everything they do by every citizen of the world in every possible way.
I have worked closely with SSP since 2002 when I became an Intel ISEF Affiliated Fair Director. I have been Chair of the Intel ISEF Advisory Council for nearly three years and cannot say enough positive about this organization. The staff at SSP are committed and passionate about their mission. SSP has provided awesome opportunities for a number of students from my region in Central NM. I was also a Guest Speaker at the 2010 SSP Teacher Fellows Institute which is an absolutely amazing program - applied for competitively by teachers from all over the US and abroad - run by Jennifer Carter, Director of Outreach. I would like to see programs like the Fellows program continue and be supported into the future. It is through teachers that we will ultimately make the biggest impact on upcoming students...teachers with passion for science, technology, engineering, & math education and research engender students with passion for learning...for asking great questions...and for having the courage to go after the answers to those questions.