Discusson Guide

Inventing Tomorrow: Discussion Guide

Background Information

Biographies of Student Scientists and Project Description

Jared Goodwin - Age at Filming: 15, Hilo, Hawaii, USA
Project: Arsenic Contamination Through Tsunami Wave Movement in Hawaii: Investigating the Concentration of Heavy Metals in the Soil from the 1960 Hilo, Hawaii Tsunami.

Jared passionately documents his love for his home of Hawaii through nature photography. His project studies the contamination of a local pond where arsenic was dumped by a company for nearly 30 years. Inspired by his family, who survived two major tsunamis in Hilo, he developed a new model to study tsunami debris patterns. The work is important to the community because the debris includes arsenic, and his model could potentially track arsenic disbursement into local neighborhoods’ soil and water sources. He wants to use his project to motivate state officials to create more accurate safety measures for land use zoning.

Sahithi Pingali – Age at Filming: 16, Bangalore, INDIA
Project: An Innovative Crowd-Sourcing Approach to Monitoring Fresh-Water Bodies

After seeing the lake behind her home burst into flames, Sahithi decided to combine her love for science and social activist skills to create an innovative method for citizens to gather and share data about the severe water pollution in Bangalore. In order to protect her local lakes, she is developing technological solutions to amplify citizen voices in an effort to stop the dumping of raw sewage into the watershed.

Shofi Latifa Nuha Anfaresi & Intan Utami Putri - Age at Filming: 16, Bangka, INDONESIA
Project: Bangka’s Tin Sea Sand - Fe3O4 as A Removal of Pb(II) Ions in By-Product of Tin Ore Processing (Tailing)

Nuha and Intan live on an island in Indonesia called Bangka, which is the world’s 2nd largest source of tin ore. The young women have seen legal and illegal tin mining expand to the point where the previously bright blue waters around their home have faded to brown, and they have observed the local fish and coral reefs dying. They are developing a filter that would process the effluents from the dredging process to protect the fragile oceanic ecosystem of their island, allowing the local fish supply to flourish again.

Fernando Miguel Sánchez Villalobos, Jesús Alfonso Martínez Aranda, Jose Manuel Elizade Esparaza - Age at Filming: 17, 17, 18, Monterrey, MEXICO
Project: Photocatalytic Ceramic Paint to Purify Air

Fernando, Jesus, and José live in one of the most polluted cities in Latin America: Monterrey, Mexico. After a lifetime of riding diesel-powered public buses that exposed them to harmful pollutants, they decided to try and address local air quality as well as global warming. One of the team members holds a part-time job to support his family, and the whole team must ride a bus several hours to meet with their university mentor. They invented a photocatalytic paint that can remove two pollutants that contribute to global warming from the air: sulphur dioxide and titanium dioxide. The first in their families to attend university, the three friends were ecstatic to visit the United States when they attended ISEF.

Student Mentors

Dr. Steve Lundblad, (USA), Chair & Professor, Geology Department
University of Hawaii, Hilo
-Current work includes Sedimentary Geology, Geochemistry, Geoarchaeology.

Marcela del Rocío Rosas del Real, (Mexico), Chemistry Advisor
UANL Preparatory No. 16
-Current work as Professor Technical Secondary School No.67 and in general baccalaureate, progressive bilingual baccalaureate and distance general baccalaureate.

Dr. TV Ramachandra, (India) Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences
Indian Institute of Sciences
-Current work includes Coordinator of Energy and Wetlands Research Group (EWRG), Convener of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) at Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES). During the past twenty years he has established an active school of research in the area of energy and environment. See archive http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy.

Dr. Rudi Subagja, (Indonesia) Supervisor
Research Center for Metallugy & Materials
-Current work includes extraction metallurgy

A Brief History of the International Science and Engineering Fair[1] (ISEF)

The International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is the largest pre-college science competition in the world. Initially established in 1950 as the National Science Fair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the competition was organized and run by Society for Science & the Public. Eight years later this fair transitioned into an international competition as finalists came from Canada, Germany, and Japan. Almost twenty years later in 1997 Intel, a Silicon Valley California based company inventor of the microprocessor and today one of the world’s leading manufacturers of semiconductors, microchips, and other communications systems for Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, came on as the leading title sponsor for ISEF.

Every year in May ISEF rotates between Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Phoenix as host cities. Thousands of volunteers are needed to run a successful fair which include judges for the students and the running of the Education Outreach Day where up to 3,000 local middle and high school students visit the finalists and hear their presentations.

ISEF is open to all students around the globe in grades 9-12 who have competed and won in an Intel ISEF affiliated science fair. Currently there are affiliated fairs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 75 countries, regions, and territories. Each student’s or teams’ research project must contain no more than 12 months of continuous research. For a student to have the opportunity to attend ISEF, they have already competed on many levels and are presenting their research project and findings after going through a rigorous review process to qualify.

Once at ISEF each entry is judged at least four times in one of twenty-two different categories. There is a full slate of cash and scholarships given in 600 individual and team awards. Each category students are awarded first ($3,000), second ($1,500), third ($1,000), and fourth ($500) place with the top winner of ISEF receiving $75,000 award.

There are numerous notable ISEF Alumni in the fields of science, engineering, politics and more. See their stories here.

[1] Background excerpted from https://www.societyforscience.org/mission-and-history.