PHOENIX (Nov. 20, 2009) — During the next 10 years Phoenix will become a familiar proving ground for thousands of the world’s most inventive young scientists.
The Society for Science & the Public (SSP) recently announced that Phoenix has been chosen as a host city for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2013, 2016 and 2019. Fair organizers expect 6,500 students, judges and observers to attend each year’s six-day event at the Phoenix Convention Center, cumulatively pumping $28 million of direct spending into the city’s economy.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in national, regional and state fairs, from which the best and brightest earn the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF.
“Phoenix's local government and science museums, businesses and academic institutions are dedicated to advancing science in the region,” SSP President Elizabeth Marincola said of the decision to bring Intel ISEF to America’s fifth-largest city. “As host city, Phoenix will provide an outstanding forum for the world’s top young scientists to showcase the quality and depth of their research and its potential for the future of our planet and our society.”
More than 1,500 students from 50-plus countries typically participate in the competition, which is judged by 1,200-plus PhD-level scientists and educators. The fair also attracts thousands of parents and observers, including local school children and teachers who attend the competition during Public Day.
But the impact of Intel ISEF promises to ripple far beyond Phoenix’s borders. According to the SSP, the fair annually receives more than 500 million worldwide media impressions. Past programs have been covered in media outlets such as the New York Times, CNN International, The Conan O’Brien Show, Forbes magazine, NBC Nightly News and Science News magazine.
Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the international media exposure and three-phase economic jolt supplied by the science and engineering fair are just part of its appeal to the community.
“This event enhances downtown Phoenix’s reputation as a research center and forward-moving city,” Moore said. “It also gives local residents — particularly students and their teachers and families — the chance to see some amazing inventions and talk to young innovators from all over the world.”
Moore pointed out that the Phoenix Convention Center is itself a panorama of technological sophistication. Among the facilities innovations are a computer tracking system that optimizes energy-consumption levels, a water-harvesting garden that converts condensation from the building’s heating and cooling system into water for landscaping, and assisted-listening devices in the conference center that provide real-time interpretations in up to four languages.
The convention center is served by the nation’s newest light-rail system, which provides virtually pollution-free public transport to restaurants, museums, and the downtown Phoenix and Tempe campuses of Arizona State University.
A few blocks north of the convention center lies the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is home to the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the International Genomics Consortium, the Molecular Profiling Institute and the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative. Nearby is Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, which collaborates with the academic and scientific communities in downtown Phoenix to provide its students a unique science education.
“Our success in securing the Intel ISEF is the result of collaboration among several local entities,” said Sally Forrest, director of national accounts for the Greater Phoenix CVB. “Not only did our partners at the convention center and downtown hotels step up to provide an attractive and comprehensive package, but the enthusiastic support extended by the city and local leaders in the fields of engineering and science helped drive home the message that Phoenix is the smart choice for this kind of event.”
About the SSP: The Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, owns and has administered the International Science and Engineering Fair since its inception in 1950. To learn more about the organization and its programs and publications, visit www.societyforscience.org.
About the GPCVB: The Greater Phoenix CVB is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the traveling public discover Phoenix and its surrounding communities. The CVB markets the destination to national and international audiences, and its sales staff books meetings and conventions of all sizes. More than 15 million people visit the Phoenix area annually, contributing $18 billion in direct spending to the regional economy. To learn more, visit www.visitphoenix.com.