Mike qualified for the Intel ISEF tonight

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Jim Kovalchick
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Mike qualified for the Intel ISEF tonight

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:17 am

Tonight, Mike was named one of two Grand Champions of the York County Science and Engineering Fair. Because this is an affiliated fair, Mike has now qualified for the Intel ISEF in Pittsburgh this spring. He also won a few other nice sponsor awards including a scholarship for a 3 credit hour class to take pre-college at the Penn State York campus. Of course, his project mentor, yours truly, is very proud. You guys deserve a piece of this success. The forum prepared him well for physical success of his project, but also for his judging defense over the last couple of days. One of judges told me tonight that his project was so amazing that they pushed hard with questions to make sure that a 17 year old actually understood it all. He told me that Mike did an awesome job holding up to the barrage.

thanks everyone,


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Carl Willis
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Re: Mike qualified for the Intel ISEF tonight

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:33 am

Fantastic news. I know there was some trepidation about whether he'd done enough since neutron activation has been hard to demonstrate. Well, now he's got more time, and some nice recognition for his considerable accomplishments so far.

Onward and upward!

Carl Willis
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Richard Hull
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Re: Mike qualified for the Intel ISEF tonight

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:55 pm

I'll amplify what Carl said. This is great! All these young folks showing they have the "right stuff". If they can hold onto this in life, we might have a fighting chance at a decent future. Much of this is in the support and proper parenting at home. Your family, as a unit, has him and guides him all the time. We are just another voice and extended arm of support. We can accept only moderate credit.

It is great that they grilled Mike hard. Life is not easy at times and you have to be tough and sure of yourself for those critical moments of testing. Mike proved he owned the concepts and defended his work well.

All the best in future contests.

Richard Hull

Note*** I wonder if and when the fusor in a science fair will be another "ho hum"? This being much like the Tesla coils, van de graffs, cloud chambers and amateur metal rockets in science fairs that dominated my youth. How many wins and top awards can the Fusor garner before the judges start to see them as "same old-same old", in spite of the excellent young folks who did the work?
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Mike qualified for the Intel ISEF tonight

Post by DaveC » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:16 pm

I'd like to add my congratulations for Mike's accomplishments and his tirelessly supportive Dad. This is a great opportunity for him, given his present work.
We all can look forward to his contributions on this net in the future.

Observing Richard's *** note:
I would say, that if nothing else is done with the fusor, then it most likely will one day become a ho-hum entry topic for a HS science fair.

But if, through the amateur community, some progress can be shown toward identifying and possibly removing some of the limiting factors for fusion efficiency, doing intelligent studies to better understand "radioactivity" in practical ways, then the interest will remain high,.... as it should.

The absolute least that can be said about this area of work is that it is a wonderful training ground for engineering and scientific minds - a commodity in short supply these days.

Just my two cents....

Dave Cooper

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