A biodegradable Band-Aid. A low-cost, ultrasonic guide to parallel parking. A reinvention of the toilet. These were among the nearly 1,400 science fair projects on display at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Science News’ parent organization, the Society for Science & the Public, has run the annual event since 1950. This year’s fair brought a record-breaking number of student finalists to compete in Los Angeles. And that’s where I found myself in mid-May as this issue of the magazine was going to press.
My first day there, I had to dodge teen scientists using yards of double-sided tape to affix posters to three-panel boards; a congregation from Team Brazil (clad in green-and-yellow jackets) practicing science spiels with the same intensity as any sports warm-up; and, as one might expect with an event for high-schoolers, lots of socializing.