Josie Phipps takes 4th at I-SWEEEP

Houston welcomed hundreds of international visitors to the world’s largest international science fair focusing energy, engineering, and environment this week. The 9th Annual International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) concluded with a high-energy awards ceremony this past weekend. 385 highly qualified projects from 62 countries were displayed at the George R. Brown Convention Center during the week of April 27-May 1, 2016. 564 young high school researchers and 300 teachers traveled to Houston for this remarkable event. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to meet other students from different parts of the world while seeing that they are not alone in their commitment to find solutions to the globe’s sustainability problems. 

Thank you so much for your generous donation to my travel expenses. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to represent the state of Utah at the International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, and Environment) Project Olympiad. Over 600 students attended from 67 different countries. I placed fourth in the energy division with my project: A Diagnostic Study on the Deterioration of Engine Fuel System Parts Caused by Ethanol Treated Gasoline.I had so much fun! My dad had the opportunity of being my chaperone; he works and lives out of state Monday through Friday. We both will cherish this trip for a lifetime. 

I represented the state of Utah in the opening flag ceremony. We were invited to wear or national costume, or business attire. I was the only one from the United States that did not wear business attire. I was dying of heat, I had never experienced humidity before, and it was 100° most of the trip! Nevertheless, it was worth every minute, it gave people the opportunity to ask me about Utah and the greatest snow on earth.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was when my dad and I “tested aerodynamics” by flying paper air planes off the 22nd floor of our hotel.
Our Uber driver drove a Ferrari. Just kidding! We passed this while walking out of the hotel.

I had never been in such a culturally diverse situation. When my communication class taught about proxemics, the study of human spatial normality’s, I didn’t know just how true they were! We had an un-air-conditioned, 30min, humid, 100°, packed bus ride from the hotel to the convention center about 4 times a day. On one of them, I sat next to a girl from Kosovo. She was very nice, and very friendly. The only problem was that she was so snuggled up to me; she might as well have been sitting on my lap! I guess that’s how people ride busses in other countries!
The zoo came to the science fair on public viewing day, a lemur wearing a diaper climbed on my dad’s head, and I fed a joey.
I was a minority at a science fair geared toward alternative energy and stopping global warming. My project was a great conversation piece among many, including the judges. I am honored to have won 4th place in the energy division, and am so thankful for all the support I have received from my community.
I am so thankful for all you have done to help make this possible for me. Without the Weber School Foundation many students, including myself, would not be able to have a once in a life time learning opportunity. Thank you again.

Sincerely, Josie Phipps
Fremont High School Senior