Taiwan Students Shine at 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Texas
The National Taiwan Science Education Center once again led a delegation and team of students from Taiwan to participate in the world’s largest pre-college STEM competition – the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). This annual competition, often referred to as the Youth Science Olympia, is organized by the Society for Science & the Public, an American nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting science research and its crucial role in human life. This year's ISEF was held from May 14 to May 19 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, and it attracted participants from 62 countries and regions. A total of 1,638 students presented 1,333 projects as their entries.
The National Taiwan Science Education Center (NTSEC) promotes science education among students and the general public. It selected 14 students with 12 projects to represent Taiwan in this year’s Regeneron ISEF competition. They were selected from among participants in national science fairs and the Taiwan International Science Fair that was held in early February. The selected students then participated in an NTSEC camp program, where they received training and mentoring from professors at universities and academic research institutes.
Grand Awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places are presented in each of 21 ISEF categories. The students distinguished themselves, taking home five Grand Awards—one 2nd place award, three 3rd place awards, and one 4th place award—and two Special Awards—a 1st place award for a chemistry related entry, and a 2nd place award for a mathematics related entry. The Grand Award winning entries were in the following categories: Engineering Technology: Statics & Dynamics, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Earth And Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, and Animal Sciences.
The delegation’s stellar performance received high praise from Taiwan government officials. After the competition, Director-General Robert Fu-wen Lo of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston hosted a video conference to congratulate the many-award winning team. He conveyed a special message from President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te, congratulating the students for their remarkable achievements in the world-class technology competition and their admirable display of Taiwan's technological spirit. The Minister of Education, Dr. Pan Wen-chung, also extended his congratulations to all the participating students, and he expressed his delight at witnessing the success of science education in Taiwan’s secondary schools.
Dr. Liu Huoo-chin, Director General of NTSEC, thanked Professor Li Wen-Hsien from the Department of Physics at National Central University, and the other professors who had provided the students with assistance as they refined the content of their research entries before the competition. The professors also provided training in oral expression and poster presentation, to prepare the students to confidently present their work to the judges.
Chen Jo-Ya (陳若雅), whose project on The Fusion of Glazes Color in Random Forest won one of several second prizes in the Engineering Technology: Statics & Dynamics category, commented on the enriching experience of ISEF. She mentioned the scientific and cultural exchanges and collisions that took place during the competition and expressed her determination to continue learning and to contribute to the future pace of technological development.
Hsieh Tzu-Tien (謝子恬) said: “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to participate in ISEF. From the Science Fairs in Taiwan till now, everything is wonderful and amazing. I am very excited to be the first-prize winner of the American Chemical Society award, which nobody from a school in Taiwan has achieved before. There are so many people that I would like to thank. I really appreciate the support I have received along the way, and I will definitely keep challenging myself. I love science!”
This was the first time that the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair has been held in Texas. The contestants from Taiwan all received warm support from the local Dallas-Fort Worth Taiwanese community, and after the competition, the members of the delegation were treated to a tour of Texas. They visited many famous cultural and natural attractions in major Texas cities, including the Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, and the NASA Johnson Space Center of and the Museum of Natural Sciences in Houston. They also had the opportunity to visit two prestigious universities: the University of Texas at Austin, and Rice University. The students concluded their time in Texas at Rice University, where they engaged in discussions with Dr. Seiichi Matzuda, the Dean of Postgraduate Programs, and the Taiwan Student Association.
The contestants’ success at 2023 Regeneron ISEF is the latest in a series of excellent performances by Taiwan student teams in science and technology competitions in the United States. The contestants returned to Taiwan secure in the knowledge that they had represented themselves, their education programs, and the programs in Taiwan promoting science and technology well.