Our OSA Student Chapter just returned from the Bushfields Science Academy Science Fair in Huntingdon. Our student chapter members were invited by Guy Holmes with Laser 2000 to act as roaming judges. During the event about 100 students were able present to judges their STEM research projects. At the end of the event medals were awarded to the top three groups. Poster topics at the event included special relativity and time travel into the future, marine life in the salt rich conditions of the dead sea, lasers and laser science. The students were judged on a few criteria: quality of research, communication skills, responses to questions, and impact of research. The winning presentation was one which described a machine learning approach to determining what type of structural modifications to make to buildings to survive adverse weather conditions -- the presenter described an approach where structural parameters were fed into a database and images from severe weather events were then used as training sets. The machine learning could then be used to predict other factors that led to a structures collapse. Talking with other judges at the time, it is easy to forget the people you are talking to are only 12 years old. We were incredible impressed with the quality and time put into the presentations. We were happy to contribute posters celebrating the role of LGBT+ and Women in Science.
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