Photo: Mary H.K. Choi
You guys, I am officially, 100% not worried about the future at all. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, and met a GRIP of #sciencebabies who basically have the whole overpopulation, disease, natural disaster thing under control. Seriously. I am basically poolside writing this entire post in a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses because I am so relaxed now.
So, the way ISEF works is that 1,600 pre-college kids from 60 countries descend upon the Phoenix Convention Center floor and it's row upon row of roped off booths where each contestant presents their project. Apparently, it's untoward to refer to the shindig as a "science fair" what with more than $3 million in grants and awards at stake, but basically everyone's competing for the Big Prize, a.k.a. the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award. The competition is fierce since these dudes have already SMOKED school contests, regional contests and state contests.
The cool thing about the day I visited is that it was the day after the official judgement (postscript: these are the winners) so the vibe was a little more chill. No one yet knew who had won but everyone had presented and tap-danced their faces off the day prior, so they got to unclench and hang out a bit. I even saw a little mild-grade flirting which was cute, reassuring and terrifying when you consider what that means for the following generation of SUPERGENIUSES. Hopefully, they'll be kind rulers.