CREST-Jane Goodall Science Symposium


Melody Garcia Gonzalez

Students heading back to their posters. They will continue presenting their project.

It was a tough and exciting week for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair competitors. These students have worked year-long throughout the week and sometimes on the weekends to put together a project that could contribute to the advancement of a scientific field. A projected is graded based on the display board and on the presentations performed by these forward thinkers. These projects are then presented to experts in that field and rank according to the ISEF guidelines.

Monday was the day when all of this would come true – the CREST-Jane Goodall Science Symposium. The auxiliary gym was set up for this eventful day. Student were able to set up their display boards and other materials before the judges came in to grade them. Nerves and excitement were running high, however, students needed to keep them at bay until 12:00 pm. At this time students were expected to be present at the auxiliary gym in order to further discuss their projects to the judges and answer any questions that they may have.

As students waited for the judges, nervous tapping and chatter filled the gym. Experienced ISEFers offered comforting words and advice to those who were participating for the first time. As the wave of judges slowly rolled in, the chatter subsided and students began to observe and discuss strategies on tackling any hard questions that could come their way. Students presented, discussed, and answered questions for four our, with only a 15 minute break in between. A hint of relief was released from the exhausted students when the clock read 4:00 p.m. Students were able to leave and prepare for the following day’s public viewing.

Tuesday, apart from being a public viewing, was also the award ceremony with special keynote speakers Claire Mallon – Wilsonville High School Graduate and Space X employee –  and Claire Offer – West-Linn graduate and NASA employee. The evening kicked off with ISEFers presenting their projects to the community. The auxiliary gym was full with friends, family, staff, and those who are curious about the minds that are exploring science. As 7:30 pm rolled in, participants and community members were led into the auditorium for the keynote speeches and award ceremony.

Claire Mallon and Claire Offer discussed their journey from high school to where they are now. It resonated with participants as people who are anxious about the competition and about what their future in science holds. They were able to give some support and motivation to ease those questions and nerves. Lastly, the night ended with the award ceremony. Emotions were all over the place. A complete list of the night’s winner is available here. Stay tuned for more updates of the state competition in April!