High-schooler Robbie programmed an old calculator to give out Shakespearian insults. Then he created used machine learning to analyze the music of Kanye West and create original rap lyrics. So why was he rejected by ten colleges?
We’ll get to that.
Science Fair, screened at the 2018 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, goes inside the world of high school science students competing for the Olympics of brain power, the International Science and Engineering Fair.
From Fusion and Muck Media, written, produced and directed by the duPont Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaking team of Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster. The idea for Science Fair came from Cristina’s high school experience placing fourth in her ISEF category.
Let’s face it, every kid in the competition who wins, loses or places is a genius. Somewhere amongst the crowd of 1700, from 78 countries, is tomorrow’s Nobel Prize recipient. Forget the stereotype of the geeky science nerd with the thick glasses. A few of these junior scientists sound more like surfer dudes who party hardy or mad scientists. Wait until you meet the girl who obliviously exudes a humorous air of confidence. Everyone is competitive, and quite a few beat the odds, following their passion despite a complete lack of institutional and financial support.
Make no mistake, science is under attack. The film comes at a time where the US administration challenges scientific fact. Sponsor Intel and the state of Oklahoma have withdrawn funding.
Meet Isabela Dadda dos Reis, who created a means to detect Benzodiazepine in alcoholic beverages. She lives in a small impoverished village located in central Brazil. The entire town pooled its money to send Isabela to the local competition where she placed first.
Science major Kashfia, a Muslim girl living in South Dakota, had her science achievements completely ignored by her school. Apparently, a 0 to 3 football record is more important. Science 0, sports 100. Something is wrong here.
So what happened with Robbie, the mellow tech dude? He was bored by the lackluster curriculum, racked up bad grades, and was turned away by college administrators. This wiz kid was clearly underserved by our education system and spent his time collecting discarded computer parts and conducting his own experiments. Robbie is now 19, a high school grad, guest lecturing at Stanford University and studying machine learning. By the way, Steve Jobs dropped out of college after six months and well, we all know of his success.
Remember the name Robbie Barrat, he’s going places.