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RHS International Science Club (RISC)

posted Sep 28, 2012, 10:11 PM by Thabit Pulak   [ updated Oct 8, 2012, 2:33 PM ]
 Yesterday,  I opened the first ever International Science Club at Richardson High School. It's official, with a sponsor, and executive body. Currently, however, the only officer appointed is the Vice President, Kathan Trivedi. Our first meeting was successfully executed, with an initial turnout of over 12 people, which is considered to be very high for an after school club, especially considering that many more established clubs have an average membership of 5-8 people. This initial meeting was mainly geared to be an informational keynote, for those who are interested in pursuing a project in science, and presenting it on a worldwide scale.
 I was inspired to open this club because of my amazing experience I've had in the various International Science fairs I have participated in last year. I only updated my post on what occurred at the Dallas Regional Fair, but afterwards, I ended up advancing all the way to the Intel International Science Fair for my arsenic project, and ranked third. In the same regional fair, I directly qualified for the International Environmental Science fair, where I ranked first worldwide. Both experiences greatly increased my exposure to the talented intellectuals out there in the world. The person who won the Intel International Science fair, Jack Andraka, discovered a an incredibly cheap, yet much more accurate way to detect pancreatic cancer. He instantly became an international sensation, and I felt amazed to even be able to know such a kid in person.

In the meeting, I started by going over various iconic figures who changed the way we did things in the world, such as Steve Jobs and his creation of the Macintosh, Bill Gates with Microsoft, and Watson/Crick with their discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. I then proceeded to talking about how we could all do the same thing, and that it was no different. I then touched upon my project experiences, and my subsequent  visit to Bangladesh to actually implement my project. I was initially slightly nervous about the presentation, but when I saw the astute awareness of the people in the audience with regards to my presentation, I felt much more confident in presenting. 
My friend and classmate, Kathan Trivedi, was the best candidate for Vice President, I felt. He was actually the first from our school to attend the Regional Science fair back when I was a 9th grader, about 2 years ago. It was the first year the school science fair was started , so none of the administrative staff had any intention (nor possibly any idea) to send anyone to the regional science fair after the school fair. Kathan ended up winning the school fair, and was initially not given the opportunity to move forth. However, due to his insistence, and cooperation with other science staff in our school, he eventually made his way into the regional science fair, where he won honorable mention for his project. Subsequently, sophomore year, I joined Kathan to the regional fair in the science fair alongside 3 other students, which is when I had the lucky opportunity to advance even further down the road to the International fair. Now, as we are both Juniors, we felt it was time to spread our experiences down to the newer generation of students in our school. And we felt it was important for students to know about the amazing opportunities such a fair represented. As a sophomore, I won thousands of dollars in cash prizes, and lots of scholarship opportunities. I also received various invitations to many international associations and meetings, many of which I couldn't attend simply because I was so overwhelmed with my busy schedule as it was. I also won the exclusive award from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) worldwide for the environmental sustainability value of my project. The award included an all expense trip to Washington DC in April 2013, where I'd present my project in front of the head of the EPA. 

I finally closed my meeting with contact details, and ways to stay connected. I opened a Facebook group, which can be found here (log in to Facebook to see it though) https://www.facebook.com/groups/505009219528875/?fref=ts . As of this writing, there are 12 members in the group, and I hope to see it expand more. The email address of the group is rhsscience@googlegroups.com . We plan to have our next meeting on the 11th of October, as our project topic submission due date is the 18th of October. Our next meeting will be geared towards helping people finalize their topic for their project this year. 

UPDATE 10/8/12: A video of nearly the entire presentation has been uploaded to youtube. It can be viewed here, or below in the Youtube Player : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz-gKfBWIKA 

RHS International Science Club Keynote- September 27th