Intel International Science Fair - 2005

I was invited to be one of the Grand Awards judges in the Space Sciences Division at this year's ISEF, in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a priledge to be with these brilliant young people. In fact, it was a bit frustrating that the rules of the judging was so limiting on Tuesday and Wednesday as far as being able to talk with them about their projects and give help and advice. But Thursday, after the judging, was more relaxed and I had a chance to chat with some of them. All the projects were ambitious, and some were down right brilliant. Here are a few photos from some of the prize-winning projects I found most interesting...

Gabrielle Gianelli, 17, won many prizes here, including the top prize awarded in the Space Sciences division: "Fractal Dimension Analysis of Putative Martian Coastlines".

John Hagen, 17, 2nd place winner - "The Martian Balloon". He designed and tested a new idea for a balloon to explore Mars in ways not possible by orbiters.

Emily Ricq, 17, devised a way to determine the interior structure and dynamics of Europa by a novel analysis of the cracks in the surface ice - "The Influence of Non-Synchronous Rotation on Patterns in the Orientation of Ice Fractures on the Surface of Europa".

Mina Bionta, 17, correlated coronal mass ejections on the sun with X-ray and charged particle impacts on the earth - "The Sun's Big Bang in January 2005"

Elyse Hope, 17, quantified the rotational motion of sunspots and solar magnetic regions - "Creating a Novel Program for Determining the 3-Dimensional Movement Rates of Sunspots and Active Solar Magnetic Regions, year two"

Allison Rapoport, Sharon Kaminski, and Catherine McCarthy - "Analyzing the Surface Texture, Optic and Tensile Properties of HST SA-II SADA MLI Retrieved from HST After Long Term Exposure in Low Earth Orbit"

Elizabeth Bendycki, 16, used Martian spacecraft data on the temperature changes on Mars to determine the mechanisms of heat transport in the surface and lower atmosphere - "And the Forecast is... Analyzing Martian Temperatures"

Mary Masterman, 15 and Sara Howell, 15, were given use of a college observatory's spectragraph for their project, provided they figured out and taught the college faculty how to use it! "Analyzing Astronomical Spectra Using the SBIG SGS"

Lars Paulsen, 19, studied the properties of the new solar systems around 47 UMa and 51 Peg - "Exoplanets Around 47 Ursa Majoris and 51 Pegasi"

Kristin Donahue, 16, used computer codes to make the first determination of the properties of an important recently discovered eclipsing binary system - "First Measurements of the Size and Surface Temperature for Eclipsing Binary Star 1ES 1959+650 #5"

Eli Aghassi, 17, identified and studied distant galaxies from the SDSS survey - "Luminosity and Morhological Characteristics of Galaixes at z=4.5"

Jennifer Wolochow, 17, used Lowell Observatory photometry to study V380 Orionis, a proto-star - "A Study of V380 Orionis"

Cassandra Wagner, 14, has a patent pending on her development of a new, non-toxic and highly effective repellent for mosquitos and white flies - "Bugnip III". As a person who is fed up with 'skeeters, I was facinated with this project