This blog was posted on behalf of Jyoti Parikh, Intel’s Global Marketing Manager focused on Intel’s innovative solutions for education and empowerment of communities around the world. Since joining Intel in 1995, Jyoti has held several positions in marketing, finance and operations. Jyoti has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BE in Electrical Engineering from Mumbai University, India.
It’s my first trip to Vietnam and I attended Hanoi’s 1st Science Fair affiliated with Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). First off, it was amazing! There were 28 projects, lots of creativity and a room full of bright, excited and totally fun students. They all were science enthusiasts and had a passion for finding solutions to local challenges. Best of all, it seemed like they could break into song and dance at any time.
The students had gone through three rounds of competition to be invited to this fair and the winner has the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May. I expected committed students, curious thinkers and young adults in tune with their surroundings - and wasn’t disappointed. But I was more surprised by the community engagement that was like a scaffold for these kids. Parents, science teachers, counselors, younger siblings and even language teachers helping them articulate their projects were there supporting and cheering them on.
I felt so proud to be representing Intel at this event. Intel had worked with the local government to provide critical logistics on conducting successful science fairs. We also worked with the schools and education ministries to set up the process that gave them the opportunity to truly compete at a global level. That opportunity was key to increasing the aspirations and enthusiasm of all the participants.
When the winners were announced, the cheering was deafening! There were some very emotional moments when students realized they had moved up to compete at the national level. My biggest inspiration was a young student who embarked on a mission to figure out how a blind person could sense the difference between real and counterfeit money, because of her own challenges as a blind person. While she didn’t get the final prize, her independence, confidence and ability to overcome her challenges really touched my heart.
Best of luck to the winning team of three students from Amsterdam High School, Hanoi! Keep a look out for them at Intel ISEF and their project: treatment of hazardous waste with biological process.