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2013 Intel International Science Fair Qualifier

posted Mar 22, 2013, 5:37 PM by Thabit Pulak
On the 23rd of February, the 2013 Dallas Regional Science Fair was held. Last year I ranked 1st place, which qualified me for state, but did not win the grand prize. This year, I presented another aspect of my arsenic remediation work, which was an affordable rapid arsenic test which is able to be conducted from a villager's home. I was surprised to find out that I won the grand prize! The judges this year did not give any sort of hint as to how well I performed, thus I was feeling nervous around the time of awards, but my efforts ended up being well rewarded. I was the only person from Richardson Highschool to ultimately rank and place in the science fair. A total of 7 people from my school participated, which is an improvement over just 2 from before (courtesy of RISC ;) ). The picture below is of me getting the grand prize award. I am actually posed rather awkwardly with the trophy, because just moments before the photo was taken, the person giving out the awards let go of the trophy, so I was left clinging on the award unnaturally with one hand.

What my winning of the grand prize means is that I can ultimately participate directly in the 2013 Intel International Science Fair, taking place in the truly amazing, beautiful, and totally not a desert of a city, Phoenix. I kid. I was hoping for it to take place in California though, amidst rumors that the fair might happen in Los Angeles. I yearned for a visit to the exquisite Beverly Hills, and the nice weather of Santa Fe. All location-related desires aside, I am really grateful to be able to make it to the Intel Science Fair this year, and I truly look forward to meeting the talented scientist from across the world there.

In addition to Intel, I also qualified for ISWEEEP (International Environmental Olympiad) this year. Like last year, it will take place at Houston, Texas. Funny enough, ISWEEEP actually collides at the slightest with Intel. ISWEEEP runs till the 13th of May, while Intel start on the 12th. Through some tricky maneuvering, I think I will be able to manage, as I plan on leaving ISWEEEP on the 12th night (which is when the awards ceremony is), and fly over to Intel by midday 13th. It will be tight, but some good planning do the trick. And perhaps, if there is no unnecessary trouble caused by the SRC officials at Intel (people who look over paperwork for everyone's projects). 

The Dallas Regional Science Fair Banquet , which took place on the 18th of March, was where I was officially recognized for my awards. I have some pictures of the event here, so check them out! Last year's photos are there as well, just in a separate album. Man, time sure does fly.  Photos