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Siemens, Intel Science Competitions

HeartofAuHeartofAu Posts: 8Registered User New Member
My son is a rising senior in high school. He just recently began doing chemistry research with a professor at a local university. They have made great progress and my son will be giving a talk at a department meeting this week (as well as writing a paper on the work). The professor has raised the issue of my son entering into one of the competitive Science competitions (Siemens, Intel STS, Intel ISEF, etc.). We are total newbies to this (my son has never entered a science fair of any kind, etc). I would appreciate any advice that anyone may have regarding the time commitment to enter such a competition, if it is even worthwhile to do so if he has never entered a more low-end/regional competition before, potential pitfalls, etc.

Also, will the results of any of these competitions impact potential college acceptances, or will the results come out too late to impact anything (impacting college application process is a plus but not driving the decision on whether or not to participate).

Finally, the professor has also indicated that he believes the work is of such significance as to be worth submission to a reputable journal. I would assume that such a paper would be co-authored with the professor. If he/they do submit a paper for publication in a journal , does that preclude participation in a Science competition, or can he scope out a portion of the research that was strictly his and separate from the combined work that is published.
Post edited by HeartofAu on

Replies to: Siemens, Intel Science Competitions

  • whodareswinswhodareswins Posts: 348Registered User Member
    First of all, I must say that your son is very lucky to be able to do research in an actual institute. My local university is very much un-cooperative, but with great determination I was still able to conduct my own research at home and even made it to Intel ISEF. It seems that your son does have some good research so I would recommend that he enter Intel ISEF, Intel STS, and Siemens. He has a definite chance of winning if the research is thoroughly done and has great applications. As for it's potential impact in college admissions- it's usually not worth doing research only for college admissions- for only a true love of science will bring the best results. Make sure that he likes science and research- it's not about the awards or accolades, it's about doing what you love.
  • HeartofAuHeartofAu Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    yes, he is quite fortunate to have this opportunity. It has confirmed that he does want to pursue chemistry as a major in college. Anything beyond that (publication, science fair competition, etc) is gravy.

    Regarding Intel ISEF, I heard that before you can enter this competition you must first win (or come in 2nd) a local ISEF sanctioned competition. Since the next local sanctioned science fair wont be until Jan-March 2011, even if he should win that competition he would not be able to enter the national competition until Fall 2011, when he is already in college. Am I understanding that correctly? Can you even compete after you graduate HS?

    Also, can you give us an idea as to the amount of work required to enter/compete in these competitions? With college apps/essays to write, I am concerned that there will not be enough time to enter all (any) of these science competitions.

    Thanks again for your help!
  • whodareswinswhodareswins Posts: 348Registered User Member
    His true interest in science will go a long way. Your regional science fair should be in fall or spring of 2011 and the ISEF will be in May of 2011. You qualify for ISEF by winning one of two grand awards at the regional or state science fair. Your son is a senior so he can apply for Siemens and Intel STS. Paperwork for both competitions will be due in Oct. and Nov. If he already has the research done (or is currently working on it during the summer), then he will have to write up a research report to submit to the competitions. All of these competitions are pre-collegiate science competitions and are only for high school students.

    If you have any more questions about the competitions and how enter and compete just PM me and I'll be glad to help.
  • getheniangethenian Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    I too am doing science research in a local university. Your son should, by all means, submit his paper into the aforementioned competitions. I am from New York city, so we must compete in the 2 rounds of NYCSEF before moving on to ISEF. Certainly as a senior, he can submit his work to Siemens and Intel STS, although the latter requires a application process consisting of essays and recommendations. Nonetheless, he should still submit.

    As for the impact on college admissions. My science research teacher has plenty of stories from her personal experience where students were Siemens semi-finalists, ISEF qualifiers (note, they are not even finalists) and they were admitted to the top ranked schools. Usually, students that go on to these top competitions, have little to no trouble getting into MIT, Harvard etc. A few students in my school were Siemens National Finalists, and even with sub-2000 SAT scores, were admitted to MIT and Yale respectively. These competitions are similar to the olympiads, where it's almost a guaranteed acceptance into colleges. For your son's case, only Siemens and Intel STS would help in college admissions because results are found out in the fall. However Intel ISEF certainly takes him off the waiting list and into the admit pile for those results don't come out until late spring.
  • azndarkvaderazndarkvader Posts: 483- Member
    i am a semfinalist for siemens and intel and only got into cornell. rejected to the others. i wouldnt say it is a guarantee..
  • sunshine02sunshine02 Posts: 390Registered User Member
    Is it possible to do research for the summer before these competitions and still win?
  • cherylabbeycherylabbey Posts: 77Registered User Junior Member
    Yeah, I think so. Just go for it. I'm thinking about applying.
  • CoalmanCoalman Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    So, I assume it is rather safe to assume that being a national finalist will be the ticket to an ivy. (top 10%, 34 act)?
  • breaker746breaker746 Posts: 433Registered User Member
    Just general advice for getting Siemens semi-finalist (don't know about Intel yet). I just did my project in the summer. For Siemens, just make the abstract look really good (make your project sound like it has some legitimate significance in the world or scientific community) because they base most of the decision on the abstract. I assume it's because they don't have time to read through all those research papers considering how quickly they make their decisions.
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