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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.

The day started with the closing awards ceremony, and to my surprise I won first prize! In the chaos of the day, our volunteer got confused and sent our whole team up to collect my prize, so in this way, I won for all of team USA. Then, as we were coming off stage, Elizabeth also got called up again because she won in her category!

Satisfied and accomplished, we then started our journey to the Great Wall…except the air quality today was the worst yet. Nevertheless, our delegation, along with Australians we recently be friended, began the trek up one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The stairs were steep—and endless. Just as we thought we reached the top, there were more, some almost half my height each.

At last, after an hour of stair climbing, and according to Elizabeth’s watch, 92 flights of stairs, we reached the top of the wall. We took some pictures with our new friends and headed down a tram ride this time with some Mango Ice Cream in hand. Tired but happy, we returned to our hotel for dinner.

Although the rest of the delegation went to sleep soon after, I went down to the lobby for some last fun times with the Australians, Israeli, and Danish delegations. I play cards for nearly two hours and learned different games like Yasef and Slam. We said our goodbyes, and thus ended the best day on the trip thus far. I’ve attached a picture of Alex, from Australia, and I on the Great Wall.

Ritvik Bodducherla

Ritvik Bodducherla is a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He is originally from Charlotte. Bodducherla’s research project is titled: “Development of an Antiproliferative Drug Utilizing Ellagic-Acid Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles.”