Sciencewoman has been covering the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, and YAAAAY!! Three chickadees won the top prizes! Sweet!
While the fact three girls won did get a nod from a random troll, it hasnt really been the main topic of the discussion. More people have been wondering “How the hell did a high school kid get the opportunity to study ‘Computation of the Alexander-Conway Polynomial on the Chord Diagrams of Singular Knots’? If a different promising student from say, Guymon, Oklahoma, got the same opportunities, wouldnt they thrive just like a lucky kid from Nassau County, New York?”
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh! Does no one read my blog? Do you all just look at the puppy pictures and read the Chinese jokes?
I came from a town with a population of ~11,000 people (a Guymon of Missouri, if you will). We had no AP classes, much less university level research opportunities. I then went to college at a liberal arts university in a town of ~17,000 people. No BSL-3 laboratories, but I did get the opportunity to go to Nebraska to study viruses during the summer. Now Im doing kick ass HIV-1 research that literally no one else on the planet can do.
Louis Villarreal grew up in East LA and went to community college, now hes a Top Dog in viral evolution!
You dont *have* to go to an elite magnet super high school in Boston/New York/Seattle/whatever to love science and to do it forever as a profession! You dont HAVE to get into an Ivy League school! You dont HAVE to have a pristine GPA and ‘make connections’ when youre 12!
Would it be great if every high school kid who was so inclined had the opportunity to help with Alzheimers and Global Warming research, YEAH! I love that ‘special schools’ have propped up to give kids a taste of real world research when theyre still little ones! I didnt even understand what a ‘PhD’ meant when I was their age (‘Theyre like an MD doctor, but they cant write prescriptions?’). But I hate the mentality awards like ISEF and ‘special schools’ foster in the majority of kids out there!
So congrats to the ladies who won this week! But hey! Hey you random 15 year old kid in Phillips, Nebraska reading my blog! And all you small town, ghetto town, farm town kids!
You dont have to be rich, to cure my AIDS.
You dont have to be coooool to harness energy from waves.
Aint no particular school you gotta get in!
Science just wants yo extra time and your p-p-p-p-p-passion.