Q&A with Jedidiah Tillman

Jedidiah Tillman (left)

Jedidiah Tillman is a senior at Eastern High School. He shared his experience as an LRSEF participant and Amazon Award nominee with LRSEF intern Eddy Zhong.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your experience at LRSEF? What did you learn from participating? What did you enjoy about it? 

A: My experience at LRSEF has been wonderful. I have learned to practice the scientific process; I have learned about mathematics, being in the mathematics category for two years, and materials science, being in the materials science category for one year. I have learned how to present in a professional manner. I enjoyed being able to talk with other people at the science fair. Talking with others in and around my category was enlightening because I gained insight into their projects. My conversations with judges proved to be very valuable to me because they provided constructive criticism.

Q: Can you tell me what it was like to participate in the virtual KY-SEF? What challenges did you face? What did you like or dislike about it? What was different from your expectations (if you participated in KY-SEF previously, how did it compare)? 

A: Participating in the virtual KY-SEF was strange. I had never been to an in-person KY- SEF, so I had nothing to compare it to. I liked the fact that I could present at home. Home is a very comforting environment for me, so I was not as nervous as I would have been in an in-person experience. 

Q: What advice would you give to other students who are facing challenges when it comes to doing their STEM research? 

A: The internet is filled with an overwhelming amount of information. There is always something out there that can help. Whenever I have trouble getting started with my science fair project, I go to the LRSEF science fair website for inspiration.

Q: How do you think the science fair has helped further your education/career goals? What valuable skills did you learn from conducting research? 

A: Science fair has helped me further my education goals by providing me with useful problem-solving skills….Science fair has helped to further my career goals by providing me information…on how to present in a professional manner, which is useful in any job. Science fair has given me the experience I need to thrive in a STEM based career.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience with LRSEF? 

A: LRSEF has been an important part of my high school experience because it gave me confidence. I am not particularly good at sports, so I used to think I was not good at anything. However, when I earned my first award in science fair, I gained confidence. Because of that I continued to improve in science fair and went from third place my freshman year to first place my junior year.