Dhruv is Ready to Take Flight at NCISC

This week, four high school students selected by Science, Math, and Technology Education Center to participate in the North Carolina International Science Competition (NCISC) are traveling to Beijing, China to present their research, meet students from other countries, and experience Chinese culture. This blog highlights the journey of these future science rockstars of North Carolina! Today, we hear from Dhruv Jain of Raleigh. See more pictures and updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Dhruv at the NCSAS competition in Durham March 15
Dhruv at the NCSAS competition in Durham March 15

3/19/2013 – 6:16 AM EST

Hello everyone, my name is Dhruv Jain and I am a senior at William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

You’re probably wondering how I got here, and the answer is, so am I. It’s 6 am and I have had 2-4 hours of sleep during the past two and half days, but that’s what happens when you cram three competitions into the span of 10 days. Regardless, I’m very excited about Beijing!

The work I will present at Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition is my research conducted with the North Carolina State University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering entitled “Towards Wearable Electronics for Medical Monitoring: Development of Biosensors Composed of Quasi-Liquid Materials.” I love that title for a couple of reasons, first and foremost because it sounds so sophisticated and elegant. No worries, I’ll make it simple. Basically, this summer I worked on building a sensing device for diabetics to measure their blood sugar with soft, liquid-based materials. Now we are getting into my spiel and I’m too tired to go into that right now.

All I can say right now is that my bags are packed and, aside from the fact that I inevitably forgot to pack SOMETHING, I’m ready to take flight. Thanks for reading my blog. Time to pass out on this plane — but not before I make my NCAA bracket.

-Dhruv

3/20/13 – 10:13 PM Beijing Time

Today, we arrived in Beijing and right away I began trying to learn Chinese. As it turns out, there are hundreds of thousands of characters so the task was a bit difficult. I got some insightful help from Amy, who is another student traveling on this trip. Amy said she “isn’t good at Chinese,” but in reality she has been the translator for us the whole time. As for learning Chinese, I learned how to say money (“ZhouGoung RemLin YinHuang”). I also learned “I love you”, which is “Woa Aie Nie” (not to be confused with “Woa Aie Mie”, which means “I like rice”).

When we arrived at our hotel, we went straight to dinner in the hotel dining hall where we feasted on 4-6 different types of meat dishes, sticky rice buns, fried rice, and some salad. I ended up trying everything and really enjoyed a few of the meat dishes. I realized that Chinese meals are eaten slowly, which is the exact opposite of my eating style. Using chopsticks slows me down a lot (since I’m a novice) and all the meat has bones in it, which makes chewing difficult.

Later, I met up with my roommate, Yegor Vasilchenko (don’t mind my spelling), from Ukraine. We clicked right away, though he is older than me at 20 years old. So far he is a really cool guy with a personality very similar to mine.

When we went to make the translations for our posters today, I quickly realized no one understood my project title. When I said the words “Towards Wearable Electronics for Medical Monitoring: Development of Biosensors Composed of Quasi-Liquid Materials,” they stood there dumbstruck. This was good because it encouraged me explain my project in simple terms like “making medical sensor out of liquid materials.” They liked that a lot better.

On another note, after much stress and deliberation, I finished my NCAA bracket between flights. Hopefully I can keep up with the games while I’m here in Beijing.

Deuces,

Dhruv

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