Abel Sandoval, Judge

Judging at Science Fest Is an Eye-Opening Experience

Abel Sandoval
"It’s so interesting to see all of the little kids from elementary and middle schools be so interested in science.”

During the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival, the students are the stars of the show. But, the festival wouldn’t be successful without the tremendous help from volunteers and judges.

When Abel Sandoval’s friend asked him to help judge the science festival during his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin, he didn’t realize how large the event would be and how dedicated the students were.

“It was a great experience because it’s so interesting to see all of the little kids from elementary and middle schools be so interested in science,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval, now 19 years old and a junior majoring in neuroscience, was assigned to judge the middle school students chemistry projects. Some of the projects studied topics he hadn’t even learned in college yet.

“There was actually this one girl I remembered, she was telling about enantiomers. That’s all part of organic chemistry and both me and my friend had never even heard about them until the next semester.”

For anyone who might be interested in volunteering for the festival, Sandoval highly suggests you sign up.

“I think it’s a very eye-opening experience in just how big the science community really is – even with students as small as elementary school.”

Not only has Sandoval helped with the science festival, but he helps keep fellow students safe by volunteering with UT’s SURE Walk program. He has also been both a peer advisor and student ambassador in the College of Natural Sciences. The Osier Laboratory at the school named Sandoval as their “Rising Star” in December.

Interested? Learn how you can be a judge or a volunteer

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Date last reviewed or modified: 2/1/19

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