Tag Archives: International Science and Engineering Fair

Broadcom MASTERS/ISEF Day 4

16 May

     Today, I got to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  I just went on a field trip to Catalina Island with my school and the aquarium is right around the corner from where the boats leave to take people to Catalina. 

     I love the touch tanks where we can touch moon jellyfish, bat rays, and starfish.  My favorite creature to touch is the sea cucumber.  I don’t know why, but sea cucumbers and sea slugs are my favorite.  I once went out on a boat right next door to the aquarium where they throw out a net and catch lots of different animals.  They caught a sea slug and let me hold it.  I was so happy!  It was like a dream come true.

     Then, we toured the exhibits inside the aquarium.  There were coral reefs, kelp forests, and a giant aquarium filled with California marine life.  There is one display that features incredibly camouflaged creatures as well.  There was also an area with frogs.  I LOVE frogs!  A long time ago, I did a podcast called “Fun Stuff for Kids to do in Southern California.”  I interviewed one of the volunteer SCUBA divers from the aquarium.  Check it out here.  Keith Brush was really, really nice.  He also runs a company called “Future Scientists and Engineers of America.”  Wow, I was really young back then!  My brother in the pictures will be 17 this month!

     We also had the opportunity to have Universal Studios all to ourselves.  They closed the park down and only ISEF and Broadcom students were there.  I got to ride on Dispicable Me, Transformers, The Mummy, and The Simpsons rides.  There was also a sort of museum with props from old movies.  They had one of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies.  I didn’t get back to the hotel room until after 12:45!  I was so tired that I’ll have to post pictures in this blog some other time.

     One of the most helpful things that we did is that we got together with all of the ISEF students from my region and we practiced their interviews over and over giving them feedback and helping them get better and better each time.  I hope that this helps them with their judging.  It was really fun for me to learn so much about their projects.  We did this with all of the Broadcom students in Washington D.C. and it helped me a lot.

      Broadcom and Society for Science and the Public have done such a wonderful job of making sure that we’re having a great time and learning a lot.

      Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday that they gave us a Raspberry Pi.  I now have 3 Raspberry Pis.  I’m going to have to find a project that connects all three to do something special.

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Broadcom MASTERS/ISEF Day 3

14 May

    Today, we went to Disney Studios in Burbank.  We went to the stages where the shows are made.  We went to the stages for a show called “Intelligence.”  We had lunch with Imagineers.  I sat with an Imagineer named Amy Goodwin and she was inspired to become an Imagineer when she was at Disneyland and saw an interactive display where a cartoon character talks to you and knows things about you (I think that there are cameras and a person behind the scenes doing the voices through a microphone).  This really motivated her.  Then she was an intern at Disney Studios and she met the right people and worked really hard and eventually became an Imagineer herself.  This was her dream come true.  Her sister is a microbiologist and got to name her own protein!

    Then, we went to Disney Archives which is kind of like a museum of old Disney memorabilia like items that they sold at Disneyland when it first opened.  We got to hold the Oscar award that Walt Disney won.  We saw an original Disneyland ticket and some of the costumes that they used in Saving Mr. Banks and costumes from Pirates of the Caribean.  We saw miniature models from A Christmas Carol.  They showed us the camera that they used to film Snow White and ended up using for other movies.  The movie was such a hit that it funded the creation of several more movies after that.  Here are some photos from these two places:

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    Then we went to the La Brea Tarpits.  I had been there once before, but it’s such a great place, I could go there ten times and it would still be fun.  We had a tour guide explaining things to us and telling us stories.  One of the coolest things that they have is metal plungers that are down in some tar and you get to try to pull it up to see how sticky and strong the tar is.  After trying this, you can really see how animals couldn’t get out.

    I got back from the tar pits too late to hear the panel of Nobel Prize winners speak, but I met two of them in the lobby and got my picture taken with them.  One of them was named Dr. Sir Harold Kroto and he was a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 1996.  His work was about proving that Buckyballs exist and can be produced in stars.  Here’s a link to his Wikipedia page.  The other was Dr. J. Michael Bishop who was a Nobel Prize winner in Physiology/Medicine in 1989 for his discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.  Here is his Wikipedia page.

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    Then, we went to L.A. Live.  They have music and dancing at the Nokia Club.  They had all different kinds of juices for us.  There’s also a game room, bowling alley, food, and pool tables.  It was a great way to mix with all of the ISEF participants and observers.

Today was another incredible day!  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us tomorrow.