<p>The NY Times published a fascinating article about the kind of help Intel winners get. It echoes what was said on another thread recently about science fair projects.</p>
<p>One of my favorite paragraphs:</p>
Aditi Ramakrishnan, a semifinalist who researched toxicity of nanoparticles in cosmetics, says she would have no project if it were not for the daily help she received from a team of nearby Stony Brook professors. "I'm only 17," she said. "I didn't have the background to create the experiment. I didn't know how to use the equipment. I couldn't create the hypothesis."
<p>You read the glowing articles which just list the kids and their unbelievable projects, and you think (or at least I did) how do they come up with these things, how do they know how to research them, or what equipment to use, or how to use it? Answer: they don't.</p>
<p>The article goes on to say:</p>
For big-time science fairs, the single most important research students do is finding a willing mentor. The "October Sky" projects - four boys standing in a field shooting off rockets - are all but gone. Even classroom science teachers - racing to finish prepackaged state and advanced placement curriculums - rarely can oversee serious research.
<p>I guess I was just naive to think it was or should be that way still. I'm glad this article brings it out in the open.</p>