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Hana Haytaoglu

Hana's Story :

The nerves rush away, I’m in my zone; every long night spent writing papers or in the lab, every failed experiment and the frustration that goes along with it, or every moment we missed because of our project becomes worth it.

The feeling I get when I’m presenting my project is unlike any other. It’s excitement beyond words. I always get the questions, are you nervous? Are you Scared? What if you mess up? But in my mind that’s not possible. I can’t really mess up so I don’t get nervous. It’s my project and I’m the expert so the only feelings I have are excitement to share the work Hannah and I have done with everybody. The pure interest while we explain, the thoughtful questions we receive and are able to answer, and the absorption of information from the young people we share with, make the whole project worth it.

Overall, I never thought that this would be why I did it. In the beginning I believed it was because I liked feeling like I was doing something good, or the money (which was maybe $50 the first time I did my project), or even the trips. What I’ve realized as time had gone on is that it is really the bonds I am able to form. Bonds between strangers who are interested in our project and allow us to share it with them. Bonds between Judges, Chaperones, and Sponsors. Bonds between many other young scientists who I now call some of my best friends, and especially the bond between my mentor Anne Falla, Hannah, and I.

Science fair has exceeded every expectation of mine and I feel so lucky to have gotten the chance to be a part of it. The confidence and contentment I feel while I present, or while I interact with all types of people is inexplicable. I would recommend science fair for anyone from any walk of life, because it has truly helped me in every aspect.