Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reporter's Notebook: Emotional Intensity At The Egyptian Science Fair

By Ghada Abdelhady
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Last year, I competed in Egypt’s national science and engineering fair and experienced the exhilaration, joy and stress of the action-packed three day event.

Ghada Abdelhady

This year at the Intel Bibliotheca Alexandrina Science and Engineering Fair, I was surprised to feel the same excitement as before – even though I didn’t enter a project.

The fair comes after an excruciating year of preparation for participants, organizers, volunteers and staff, but at show time, all the hard work pays off.

On the first day of the fair, I saw the glow, not of ambition, but of passion coming from the student scientists.

When judging was underway on the second day, I knew the mix of enthusiasm, optimism, hope, ambition and tension that students were feeling.

All mixed together with joy and ecstasy, this emotion-packed experience seemed to create a unique chemical reaction among participants, one that could hydrolyze any burdens or limits between participants.

Despite their differences, it was clear that the students had something important in common – a passion for science and knowledge. They connected by learning from each other, building a kind of scientific highway from one mind to another.

At the closing ceremony, everything fades compared to the stress, pressure and most of all, hope, that students feel. In spite of all that, I found it refreshing to see all participants enjoying themselves and being good sports. As everyone took their seats and waited to hear the winners’ names, I realized that my experience as a participant last year and as a spectator this year weren’t so different.

I could still feel adrenaline racing through my blood and I felt I could hear the rapid yet rhythmic pounding of heartbeats in everybody’s chests. With each name called, I could see glow of success and relief.

That moment brought an overwhelming state of anxiety along with an utterly heavy heart, for reaching the end of an indescribably beautiful adventure that lasted only three days.    
The judges and staff members deserve praise for taking an idea on scrap paper and turning it into such a well-structured, successful fair.

But this event was much more than a science fair. It was a gathering that allowed youth who are starved for a modernized, creative and diverse community to come together as one.

Their differences of opinion only enhanced their experience. Diversity inspired these young people, preparing them to face the world and become someone who counts.

They’re now ready to get involved, to design a new path for Egypt using their love for science and for knowledge in general.

It’s these young scientists who can use their cooperative brain power as the key that frees them from the dangers of ignorance, and unlocks the secret of sustainable development so badly needed for our nation’s future.

Read Ghada Abdelhady's news story about the science fair by following this link.

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