As someone who has enjoyed doing research for years, I have regularly participated in science fairs since I was in 3rd grade. I have competed in 21 science fairs in my career, taking advantage of the opportunity to get feedback from experts in my field of research. In addition, I greatly improved my public speaking skills by giving years of presentation.
The science fair process for a project lasts around nine months. During the spring, I look at multiple different areas, and try to identify problems that I can solve in a realistic time frame. After identifying the problem, I begin initial research, and begin using formal and informal methods to educate myself on the topic. After gaining experience, I approach research institutions with a proposal to receive administrative support on my project. After this, I work on the project through the summer, and then spend the winter creating presentations and technical papers to explain the project. This process allows one to gain an understanding of taking a project from the problem statement to the final polished conclusion.
For three years, I worked to optimize Tuned Mass Dampers & Tuned Liquid Dampers in skyscrapers, and then applied my learning to use Dampers in cars to reduce rotation during accidents.
I also presented my Traffic Camera Dangerous Driver Detection project at the science fair, and was selected to compete at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF). ISEF was an amazing experience, as it allowed me to see kids who were interested in changing the world in every facet of scientific research. ISEF allowed me to get recommendations on my work from professors and students from top universities. I have won a full ride scholarship to West Virginia University and the $1000 3rd Place Award in the Systems Software Category at ISEF.
Science fairs have been an opportunity for me to showcase the work that I have done at my various internship experiences, and have trained me in presenting my work to professionals in the area, a skill that will be very useful in the future.
An introduction to the Pittsburgh Intel ISEF
My booth and project at ISEF
Complete information about this project is available at drunkdriverdetection.com.
Competing at ISEF