Today was public education outreach day where we presented to the public. Students from many schools around the Los Angeles area came and took a look at our projects. They typically enjoy the projects that are there in a physical sense at the exhibit. It's too bad I couldn't have brought my robot. They would've loved to see that. There was another kid in my aisle who built an electromyographic pneumatic exoskeleton so they really enjoyed seeing that. There is a picture of it on the right.
This ran from 8 am until about 3 in the afternoon.
The special awards ceremony preceded. Some of the notable sponsors include SpaceX, Google, NASA, United Foundations, IEEE, and many others. Unfortunately I didn't win any special awards. There were not too many applicable to my category.
This day consisted of essentially packing up and going to the Grand awards ceremony. The Grand Awards ceremony was amazing! I won a third place in my category of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. I just wanted to place so I was very happy about that. The grand award winner was Nathan Han from Boston and he created a machine learning software tool to detect cancer-causing gene mutations. Very brilliant stuff.
The kid from the Czech Republic across earned a second award in the category of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. I was surprised he didn't win it all. His project was very high level
It was sad to leave, but we got to explore the city a little more before we left. We went to this spot called the Original Pantry House, which was very good, efficient (got our food within five minutes of ordering it), and well priced (large omelet was $5). I highly recommend it.
Then we got on the coach bus and headed to the airport and that was it.
ISEF was one of the best experiences of my life. I met many great people from around the world, but also from Minnesota.
**** Once again, sorry about the rotation *****
Today was a day of Expos and symposiums! I checked out the Intel Expo, which didn't reach my expectations. Don't get me wrong, there were some cool booths like VEX company's interactive exhibit with robots that perform generic FIRST tasks (pick up balls, put them in designated areas, etc.) and the California Institute of Technology. I was surprised there weren't more schools and companies there trying to recruit these students. Humbly speaking, they consider us to be the best and brightest students involved in science from around the world. You think companies would be all over this event trying to recruit young talent. There were probably only 20 booths.
Next thing I did was attend the Sparkfun symposium. I had a blast at this. It was very well done. I came in and they had tables set up with Intel Galileos, Sparkfun Red Boards, and Arduinos running and connected to computers with Arduino IDE up. They taught us like 10 minutes of basic programming syntax and then realized that almost all of us in the class could teach it so they let us loose the last 45 minutes to create something really cool involving communication. There were five of us at the table and we created a remote control car where the input from an analog input was sent over two Xbee modules via Serial and then the input was used to determine how much power would be sent to each continuous rotation servo using a Sparkfun Redboard.
This kind of environment is what I believe employs the most effective type of learning that sticks with you. This should be used as a model for classroom learning. Teach a concept for a half hour and then use the last half hour to let students experiment and solve problems on their own while the teacher is their for assistance if they run into a immovable wall.
Next event was the panel with Nobel Laureates,
J. Michael Bishop, Martin Chalfie, H. Robert Horvitz, Harold Kroto, John Mather, and Draper Prize award winner Frances Arnold. Students asked questions and they provided their unique perspectives and answered them. I gained much insight from them.
After that, they closed off LA Live for all ISEF attendees. This included Club Nokia, Target Terrace, and the Gramm Museum. Very fun experience. Lots of free food/ drinks and lots of good music.