Research is important because…
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Kids’ science fair projects require long hours and hard work to overcome many challenges. No one would bother unless they thought they were doing something important.
This week, nearly 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries took over Los Angeles for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Created by Society for Science & the Public and sponsored by Intel, the competition lets students from around the world show off their winning science fair projects. (The Society also publishes Science News for Students and this blog.)
Here, in their own words, competitors share why they think research is worth all the work.
Research is important because it’s a way to give back to the beautiful world that gave us life.
— Amy Wang, 17, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, Ky.
I think research is important for people with disabilities, who have [special] needs, [because] technology can make things possible for these people.
— Leonardo Azzi Martins, 17, Instituto Federal de Educação, Charqueadas, Brazil
Research is important because the world faces many problems and science tries to solve [them]. Research makes our brains think with scientific methods.
— Dina Abdelaal, 18, Suez Advanced Industrial School, Suez, Egypt
Science is most important because from science we can know everything, and we can do everything to find out what we want to know.
— Bagus Putra, 17, SMA Negeri Bali Mandara, Buleleng, Indonesia
I think that research is important because it allows us to understand the clandestine truths of nature and opens a margin of creativity and thought that can’t otherwise be found in other ways of study.
— Meredith Blaise, 15, Bishop Feehan High School, Attleboro, Mass.
Research is important to me because it’s endless. It’s a vast landscape where you can travel wherever you want to go. And it’s something that occupies me.
— Thirushan Wignakumar, 17, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, Ky.
Research is important because science is changing every day, and these people here at ISEF, they’re going to be the leaders in science. It’s just really important to keep up with the technology that’s changing every day.
— Natalie White, 14, University High School, Fresno, Calif.
I think research is important because it’s the only way we can make the world better for us. [By] researching and applying what we discover to the world, we’ll make it better.
— Arthur de Freitas e Precht, 18, Instituto Federal de Educação, Charqueadas, Brazil
I think science is important to me because science is something that really matters in human history. Many inventions and discoveries improve life and change our way of life and our point of view. Also science is something I’m really interested in. When I was in primary school, we started to learn about general science, I performed better in this subject than anyone else. It gave me the confidence and the motivation to discover something new.
— Wuzhekai Zeng, 16, Hefei Number Eight Senior High School, Hefei, China
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(for more about Power Words, click here)
engineering The field of research that uses math and science to solve practical problems.
high school A designation for grades nine through 12 in the U.S. system of compulsory public education. High-school graduates may apply to colleges for further, advanced education.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Or Intel ISEF. Initially launched in 1950, this competition is one of three created (and still run) by the Society for Science & the Public. Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research at Intel ISEF and compete for an average $4 million in prizes.
Society for Science & the Public A nonprofit organization created in 1921 and based in Washington, D.C. Since its founding, SSP has been not only promoting public engagement in scientific research but also the public understanding of science. It created and continues to run three renowned science competitions: the Regeneron Science Talent Search (begun in 1942), the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (initially launched in 1950) and Broadcom MASTERS (created in 2010). SSP also publishes award-winning journalism: in Science News (launched in 1922) and Science News for Students (created in 2003). Those magazines also host a series of blogs (including Eureka! Lab).
technology The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry — or the devices, processes and systems that result from those efforts.