Monday, May 14, 2012

Nerds Unite!

Tomorrow I'll try to post about either Merkat or Moto, the two restaurants we ate dinner at while in Chicago last weekend, but I thought I'd toss a post up about a group of folks we shared our flight back to Pittsburgh with...a huge group of high school nerds.

Not just any run-of-the-mill nerds, either.  These were dorks, geeks, nerds, and dweebs that were coming into town for the International Science and Engineering Fair 2012.  As a former uber-nerd that is now a well-rounded nerd, I tip my T-square and graphing calculator to the nearly 1600 students from the United States and around the world who were coming here for an all-expenses paid competition.

I had the luck to be sitting next to the brother of one of the competitors yesterday.  He and his family were from New Mexico and this University of New Mexico freshman (a physics major) was a previous competitor himself.  His brother's experiment was about the convection of heat through fractures in rock.

There were two super-annoying students behind us, a guy and a girl, who never shut up the whole trip.  The adult sitting beside them would probably have gone on a killing spree if the flight was any longer than the 1:20 it already was.

I tried to give some tips to the kid sitting next to me about kayaking and going to Primanti's, but he just politely nodded and I realized my advice was lost on this particular audience.  I'm sure the kid in the link above that invented pants with sensors in them to play and listen to his drumming, or the 15 year old girl who developed a cancer treatment, or the student who used foxglove to treat Type 2 diabetes more effectively than typical medications, would have been rapt with attention to my man-about-town advice on Pittsburgh.

I'm sure Google, CMU, Microsoft, Westinghouse, Boeing, and a host of other nefarious government agencies will be in attendance looking to scoop up these geniuses before they hit the open market at the ripe age of 18.  So if you're in the mood to gawk at some socially awkward teens looking to change the world, swing on by the Convention Center this week.

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