Northwest Science Expo Roundup

by Elie D.

I’m pretty sure getting invited to attend the Northwest Science Expo is supposed to be flattering, but I’m also pretty sure everyone in my category won an award, and my project was one of the two projects that won a whopping 3rd place.

So while I got invited, so did almost everyone else in my category, and my 3rd place win at the Aardvark Science Expo is not going to win me anything against the 1st place winners from the other (and my own) schools.

However, the Expo is known to be on a weekday and usually kids miss school for it. I figured I might as well attend on the off chance its more fun than school. It was only after I registered that I realized there is no school on the day of the Expo, so I am now wasting one of my weekend days to stand in front of my board all day and not win any awards.

The set up Thursday night was an adventure of it’s own.

First, I have no sense of direction, so trying to find downtown, the PSU, then a place to park (parallel parking is quite hard), then the actual building, was a real challenge.

I spent about 10 minutes sitting in my car once I had found a parking space frantically searching the internet for a map of PSU that would tell me where I was, and where I needed to go. Conveniently, I didn’t end up needing it, as the moment I stepped out of my car I spotted Chandler Watson and Josh Clark, loaded down with boards and posters, walking by.

I hurried to follow them, and they led me right to where I needed to be. When it was time to check in, I couldn’t remember my project number, and they had to use my last name to figure out where my spot was.

When I got to my table, I realized I had only thought to grab two binder clips, not nearly enough to attach my poster to my board. I borrowed a couple from the administrators, and then Jane Schlendorf showed up, having heard of my plight, with a huge handful of extras she had grabbed, just in case.

After that, set up ran smoothly. I managed to bring all my forms, my tear sheets, and my final paper, and my project passed the safety check fairly quickly. With that, I was wished good luck and informed I could now leave.

The day of the science fair was not as bad as I actually thought it was going to be. It didn’t start until 10:30 which was nice, meaning I got to sleep in a little.

The judging period was two and a half hours long, but it wasn’t unbearable. I had a bunch of OES projects around mine, providing me with ample people to talk to in between judges. Nathan Carpenter informed me that we were in the room Semi was held in my freshman year (2012-2013). My category apparently had six judges, but I only ever talked with five.

They were all super chatty and nice, interested in my project, and put my nerves at ease. I found it was easier than expected to talk about my project. I remembered what I had studied, and with each judge my presentation improved.

We were given plenty of time for lunch and dinner, and I really didn’t have to talk to the public about my project, but was instead given some time to look over everyone else’s projects. The couple of people I actually talked to made me feel entirely inadequate.

The awards ceremony was when everyone really got nervous. It was one of those situations where everyone claps after every sentence said. And there was a lot said. There were a couple awkward jokes cracked, and a couple people who spoke for much too long, and I didn’t win anything, as was expected.

However, all of my fellow peers worked their butts off since last science fair to improve their projects for this fair and it really paid off. I hope they had a good day, and are proud of their accomplishments because OES really cleaned up. Plus we had the loudest cheers. I took note of our winners, and if you see any of them, be sure to congratulate because they all really deserve it.

  • Alex Williams: 2nd place in Mathematics
  • Alexandra Ulmer and Sarayu Caulfield: 3rd place in Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Arianna Rahimian and Elise Kuechle: a special award in the Biology, Earth, and Environmental category
  • Ben Clark: a special award in the Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Military category
  • Bryan To: a special award in the Biology, Earth, and Environmental category.
  • Chandler Watson: Honorable Mention in Computer Science and Robotics
  • Cyrus Johannes: Honorable Mention in Chemistry
  • Graham O’Connor: a special award in the Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Military category
  • Evan Lavery and Grant Kresge – 1st place in Physics and Astronomy, a Lewis and Clark scholarship, a special award in the Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Military category, ISEF Finalists
  • Gabe Sutherland: 2nd place in Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical, a special award in the Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Military category
  • Jake Collie and Aley Blackmore: 3rd place in Plant Sciences
  • Jane Schlendorf: Honorable Mention in Plant Sciences
  • Jessie Lin: 3rd place in Energy and Environmental Engineering
  • Joan Marie Hady: 1st place in Medicine and Health, a Lewis and Clark scholarship, a special award in the Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Military category, the TiE Oregon Outstanding Project Entrepreneurship Project, ISEF Finalist
  • Josh Clark: and IEEE award
  • Kelly Lai: 2nd place in Plant Sciences
  • Naomi Zhao: 1st place in Cellular and Molecular Biology, a Lewis and Clark scholarship, a special award in Vitro Biology
  • Pushkar Shinde: Honorable Mention in Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical, a TiE Oregon Entrepreneurship Honorable Mention, an IEEE award
  • Raley Schweinfurth: 2nd place in Chemistry, a special award in Chemistry, an OSU scholarship
  • Sahil Veeramoney: 1st place in Energy and Environmental Engineering, a Lewis and Clark scholarship
  • Sara Reed: 3rd place in Animal Sciences
  • Vikul Gupta: 1st place in Mathematics, a Lewis and Clark scholarship
  • Vineet Edupuganti: 2nd place in Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering

A special congratulations should be given to Joan Marie Hady and Sahil Veeramoney for winning the two Best of Fair projects (the only two given)! Everyone worked super hard for those awards so when you see them be sure to say something!

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