A Peek into the Future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
This week marks the 60th Anniversary of the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Festival (GSDSEF), taking place March 25-30 in Balboa Park.
This annual event offers 650 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (‘STEM’) students from San Diego and Imperial County the opportunity to share their work with the community while competing for scholarships and other prizes. It’s a great way to support science learning and achievement in our local schools, and it’s open to the public. (View schedule >)
If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. There’s more to GSDSEF than meets the eye. Stop by when the exhibits are open to the public, and you’ll get a glimpse of the future of STEM innovation. You might even meet a future Nobel Prize laureate. No hyperbole.
Here’s what to look for:
Discover the next Eric Chen.
The Science Fair is getting a makeover. Advances in technology and education have significantly evolved the level of work students create, and some of it is truly groundbreaking. Winners go on to compete in international science competitions, win research grants and tackle real-world problems such as flu pandemics, and cancer. For them, the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair is the jumping-off point. This is your chance to see it first.
Take, for example, Eric Chen. For those who missed it, Chen recently made headlines by winning the $100,000 grand prize at the Intel Science Talent Search. He also won the Google Science Fair and The Siemens Competition in 2013. This news is remarkable because:
1. His award-winning research identified powerful new influenza enzyme inhibitors, which could be used to develop a cure for the common flu.
2. Inspired by the 2009 H1N1 ‘swine flu’ outbreak, Chen’s research could also stop the spread of future pandemics, saving countless lives.
3. Eric is a 17-year old high school student. Like the baking-soda-volcano-makers before him, his breakthrough anti-flu research first debuted on a cardboard booth at a high school science fair.
Winners of this year’s competition will be announced on Thursday, March 27. Stop by the exhibit hall March 28 – 29 for your chance to explore the winning ideas before they go on to the next level of competition.
Get inspired about the future.
The growing national interest in STEM has led to a reinvention of the traditional ‘science fair’ concept. Online entry has made it easier for students to compete on a national and international level, and well-funded corporations have taken note.
Annual competitions such as Google Science Fair, The Siemens Competition, and Intel’s recent Science Talent Search offer enterprising STEM students the opportunity to gain significant prizes for their work, including scholarships, mentoring, and ‘An experience at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport,’ to name a few. National recognition and corporate interest are added benefits.
Needless to say, the bar has been raised. These high-energy competitions are designed to pair students with the resources they need to create real-world impact.
For example, Intel’s Fifth Place winner, Natalie Ng, received a $30,000 award for developing a diagnostic tool to more accurately predict the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body. The competition’s Ninth Place winner, John Anthony Clarke, took home $20,000 for his research of X-ray emissions from Jupiter.
Given that these students represent the future of our STEM workforce, their inventiveness and enthusiasm for creating positive impact is truly inspiring. If you’re curious about the future of science, computing and engineering, look no further.
Bring the family.
The Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair has something for everyone.
The event closes on Sunday, March 30th with Family Fun Day from 10 AM – 3 PM. This jam-packed day of science and entertainment is not one to miss, and it’s a great way to engage future generations of GSDSEF participants in the limitless possibilities of STEM education.
> Get up close and personal with 4-5 special visitors from the San Diego Zoo
> Try solar observation with San Diego Astronomy Association
> Explore the world with National Geographic
> Learn about Electric Cars with Larry Emerson
> Join scavenger hunts, win prizes and much, much more!
By the way, it’s FREE! Click here for the full schedule and event details. >
SEE YOU THERE!