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Morning in Beijing

The North Carolina International Science Challenge (NCISC) is a yearly North Carolina science competition hosted by North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center (SMT Center) for high school students. The selected students travel to Beijing, China to present their science research projects at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition the third week of March. The competition requires students to undertake a research project, write an abstract explaining their research problem and present their research to a panel of scientists and engineers. The students selected spend a week in Beijing presenting their research, meeting students from other countries, and experiencing various cultural and scientific events. The NCISC is offered jointly by the SMT Center and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. This blog is from one of the students participating in the competition. Editor’s note: The Burroughs Wellcome Fund supports EducationNC.

This morning when Michelle and I pulled open the curtains in our room, we were amazed. Outside of our window past the buildings of the campus we could see the mountains and the Great Wall in front of a beautiful sunrise.

For breakfast we had a variety of different foods, including chicken dumplings and fried bread. It was all very good but it was not the type of breakfast I am used to so it probably did not help my internal clock much! I was also somewhat surprised when I took a sip of the milk and it was hot.

After breakfast we went over to the gym where the competition is held and set up our posters. It was interesting seeing the styles of posters that delegates from different countries had. For examples, almost all of the Chinese students had parts of their poster that were actual thick foam poster board on top of a thick background whereas my poster is just one thin sheet.

After all of my judges came around I got a chance to explore the competition and go to the mini maker fair. I met some of the people from the delegations from Australia and Israel and talked to them for a while as well. The mini maker fair was really cool and had some very creative and impressive projects. I was also blown away by some of the other research projects there. For example, one group had come up with a method to help detect silent heart attacks.

Tonight was also the welcome dinner which was really nice. It was fancier than the other meals had been and there was a speech from the deputy mayor of the district. After dinner was over, our hosts gave us gorgeous painted vases as a gift.

I am really looking forward to having the public visit the fair tomorrow, as well as the student symposium and Michelle’s presentation!

Elizabeth Farmer

Elizabeth Farmer is a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She is originally from Chapel Hill. Farmer’s project is titled: “Harmful Algal Growth Suppressed by Allelopathy Regardless of Excess Phosphorus.”