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Gabriel - Journey and Support

The hardest thing about this challenge has been time.  I was in summer camp for seven weeks, spent a week in New York with my grandparents, took a week vacation with my family and did a long weekend trip to Maine as well.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed knowing I have research to do and blog posts to write but my family also wants to do an activity. They are supportive but time management is hard.  I’m looking forward to school starting so my schedule will be more regular.

I’m learning about the effort and determination it takes to really persevere.  Inventing isn’t just about an idea, it needs to be your job.  You can’t just delve into it.  It has to be something you really enjoy doing because it means you have to give up something else to accomplish a big goal.

In particular,  narrowing down my project between two options was the hardest decision I’ve had to make.  I realized I needed to talk to experts to help evaluate some of my approaches but they have been difficult to reach this summer.  This is where my mentor has been a big help as he can provide expert guidance.  I have certain predicaments where I have solution but can’t find what I need.  Dr. Wolk, because he has so much experience and access to scientific breakthroughs while working at 3M, has been able to help me identify solutions.  I look forward to working with him more.

The best part of the project was when someone I never even met saw my invention and told me it might actually help him.  I didn’t expect this to affect people in that way and was really surprised he took the time to tell me.  There have also been a few articles in the local paper about the Young Scientist Challenge and me being a finalist.  When my friends and teachers saw them they were all really supportive and I appreciate it.

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