Updates from LRSEF Students at 2024 ISEF

Five LRSEF students are attending the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, CA May 11 – 17, 2024. Read below for updates throughout the week!

Meet the LRSEF Students Headed to ISEF

Friday 5/17

Our morning started with packing and preparing for the Grand Awards Ceremony. We are so pleased with how LRSEF did this year! The category awards include:

  • Aniket Tadinada, 4th place Biomedical Engineering 
  • Zahra Chasmawala, 4th place Computational Biology
  • Nikhil Kumar, 4th place Physics and Astronomy
  • Asa Ashley, 4th place Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design

Every student that earned 4th place received a cash award of $500! Congratulations to all LRSEF Finalists!

Team Kentucky overall excelled with several Central Kentucky and duPont Manual HS students earning Category Awards. Grace Sun of Central Kentucky winning 1st place Materials Science and the George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award of $75,000! Overall Team Kentucky earned 13 awards this year!

Thursday 5/16

This morning was education outreach day, where ISEF arranged field trips for local middle and high school students to see our finalists’ work. They did a great job engaging and interacting with the public. Tonight will be the special awards ceremony.

Team Kentucky did very well! LRSEF finalist Muhilan Balasubramanian earned a special award from DCAT, the Drug Chemical and Associated Technologies Association for $5,000. We had several other team Kentucky winners from both Central Kentucky and duPont Manual High School!

Wednesday 5/15

Today was our students’ full judging day. They had a morning session from 8am to noon. We brought them lunch at twelve, and we caught up with them to see how judging was going. After lunch, students returned to their posters for another round of judging, until 4pm. Students were judged from 6 to 13 times during the entire day! At the end of judging, as students exited the convention center, teacher, and supporters cheered our students on in a procession. 

Our students then changed to go to Universal Studios Theme Park. Our students had free reign of the park from 5 pm until midnight! They had a great time.

Tuesday 5/14

Tuesday was the first of several days where our students presented their work to the public. There were several panels of speakers for students to attend during the day. Finally, students got to socialize with other ISEF finalists at the mixer in the evening.

Monday 5/13

On Monday a few students had loose ends to tie up regarding their projects, and a few practiced their presentations. Several students attended symposia sessions that are organized by ISEF after they had set up their boards. Thanks to the Central Kentucky chaperones, were were able to have our Team Dinner at the Lazy Dog Restaurant and then our students went to the ISEF opening ceremony. During the ceremony several ISEF alums told the students and attendees about their careers and how ISEF impacted their lives. 

Sunday 5/12

We woke up early and got some coffee and sweets at Starbucks, and afterwards, our students needed some last minute posters items so we went to Target. We then arrived to the LA Convention Center, where our students unpacked their posters and then attached them to their boards. There was a considerable amount of cutting, taping and gluing involved to get our students’ projects ready for ISEF! 

After everyone had their posters up and approved, students had some downtime before heading to the Pin Exchange. Team Kentucky and all of the 1,600 ISEF participants returned to the convention center to exchange pins and conversations with other students from around the world.

Saturday 5/11

Our group flew uneventfully from Louisville to Los Angeles, albeit with a very brief layover in Phoenix! We arrived a little tired and hungry to our hotel, so we went out to eat at some local food trucks across the street from our hotel.