What is a Science Fair? (page 2)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Sep 28, 2011

What Is the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)?

According to Science Service, the nonprofit organization that has administered this event for over 50 years, the Intel ISEF is the only international science fair project competition for students in grades 9–12 in the world. The top high school students from each Intel ISEF–affiliated fair are invited to compete at this prestigious convention, which is held annually in a major city, usually in the United States. The fair welcomes about 1,200 contestants, on average, from nearly 40 different countries. To see if there is a state or regional Intel ISEF–affiliated science fair near you.

The Intel ISEF is, in a word, incredible! You would be awed by the sheer magnitude of this event, which hosts the finest science fair projects in the world, displayed by exhibitors from every part of the globe, many of whom come dressed in their finest suits or school uniforms. These exhibitors are often accompanied by an entourage of mentors, teachers, and families eagerly snapping photos and waving flags at awards ceremonies. Along with the exhibitors, there is an impressive group of Intel ISEF associates and judges who make up a Who’s Who list in various scientific fields.

It is a scene like no other, except perhaps the Olympic games, and this is not an exaggeration. The annual event is a weeklong affair complete with opening and closing ceremonies, formal parties, awards presentations, workshops, networking meetings, sight-seeing tours, and of course intense judging rounds. Exhibitors compete for over $2 million in college scholarships, tuition grants, internships, and ultimately (for the top grand prize winners) a chance to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden.

When you consider the opportunities the Intel ISEF presents—meeting students who will be tomorrow’s scientific leaders, networking with the best minds in science, gaining exposure to the scientific community, and possibly winning awards (some of which could pay your entire college tuition for four years)— your science fair project is sure to take on a whole new meaning to you. I wish you great success on your project. Perhaps someday you too may be invited to attend the Intel ISEF as a contestant. It is the experience of a lifetime.

If you would like more information about the Intel ISEF, the Intel Science Talent Search, the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge, or an affiliated fair in your area, please write to:

Science Service, Inc. 1719 N Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 785-2255 Fax: (202) 785-1243 E-mail: Internet:

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