After a few months and a lot of paper work we packed our stuff together and flew to America!
Our flight was going from Düsseldorf to London (where we had to wait 6 hours because the flight was too late) and from London to Pheonix, Arizona. The safety control was easier than we first thought… They just waved us through with all our electronics in our bags (we had to take the wheelchair, 1 extra big bag for the electronics, 2 smaller ones for the electronics too and 2 big ones for our clothes)!
Our hotel had a great view and all the people were so nice! Wherever we went the people were so excited that we came from Germany! The whole first day was time to make your project ready and fit the posters etc. Firstly we had some difficulties with the space but till the end of the day we solved them.
The next day, Monday, we made a trip to a recommended river, which at least was in the blazing sun so that we decided to eat ice cream. 😉
On Tuesday we also made a trip but this time it was so awesome! That was the moment I realized we really were in the desert. There was nothing except cactus families, sand and rocks. It was really hot and your water was warm after a few seconds only…
On the next day the most exciting thing started: the judging day!
One presentation should exactly take 15 minutes. There was a list were judgers could register themselves to listen to the projects. But there could come unheralded judgers too. We had one or two breaks because as one judger went to the next project, another judger came to judge our project. This was really stressful but interesting as well. All judgers were nice and it was very exciting to explain our project to professional people. After the judging day was officially closed, we could then enjoy the rest of the day.
The special award ceremony was on Thursday in the evening. Before that the visitors could listen to the projects. A lot of students got there too. We all were excited and I must admit I really didn’t await to receive any award. But we won three special awards!!! One from Sigma Xi, the scientific research society (“First Place Life Science Award”), one from the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) for originality and innovation as well as an honorable mention from the Assocation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
The next day the grand award ceremony took place: And we won a second prize in our category “embedded systems”!! All in all team Germany did a really good job! 😀 After the ceremony we then started our way back home. It was a fantastic week in which we got to know interesting people, and new places and a different culture and I think we all enjoyed these days!!