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Today was the start to the fair. We met at the airport at around 5:30 in the morning to catch the direct flight to Phoenix. Breakfast was a meal from Dunkin Donuts, and the flight was a nice catch up on sleep,

Upon arrival to Phoenix, we went to a restaurant, the Breakfast Club, for lunch, where the restaurant provided complimentary chocolate covered strawberries for Mother’s Day. The weather at Phoenix was a pleasant surprise: not too humid, warm weather.

After eating lunch, we rested at the hotel and at around 2:30, departed with our poster boards and binders in hand to go to the Phoenix Convention Center for project set-up. This was a long, multi-stepped process. I was in the category of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Nick was in the category of Environmental Engineering, and Alex was in the category of Energy. Our poster boards were all very close to one another, which was a pleasant surprise!

The poster board set up process included filling out shipping information, going through an SRC check, and then going through a security check. It took several hours and we ended at around the same time the pin exchange began. The pin exchange began at 7:00 at the Sheraton Hotel in the ballroom. In this room, there was lots of different food and hundreds of students packed in. The culture experience was amazing: I got the chance to meet students from Puerto Rico, South Korea, Czech Republic, etc. During the pin exchange, I had the opportunity to talk with people about their culture, projects, and the science research experience. It was a great chance to bond with others over our collective love of STEM and specific fields/disciplines within STEM.

After the pin exchange, we went to Five Guys to eat some food and then went to the hotel to rest.

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