Nikoleta Stoynova '25 on the Expo-Sciences International in Mexico

Find out what the ACS junior shared upon her return

October 21-27 the MILSET Expo-Sciences International (ESI) was held in Puebla, Mexico. Hosted by UPAEP, one of the best universities in the state of Puebla, the fair welcomed more than 700 participants from all over the world, mostly high school students. Each country had selected its representatives earlier this year. I was selected with two other high school students from Bulgaria to present our science projects there. My fellow reps came from the math schools in Burgas and Plovdiv.

Science has always been my passion and I have never doubted that I want to pursue it in the future. I have been mostly involved with physics and astronomy, yet I find it extremely useful to work on more interdisciplinary projects because at the end of the day, each science is dependent on the others, and to make an impact, one needs to have a broader scope. I have been going to science competitions since 6th grade, but most of them were only solving problems. After I started high school, I steered towards impactful projects and went to my first national science fair in 8th grade. My first international science fair was ACS’s FISSION 2023, followed by the Vienna International Science Fair.

Participating in ESI 2023 has been the most enriching experience for me since I started going to science fairs and competitions. Not only could I present my project Agriphotovoltaics in the Ecological Production of Horticultural Crops, that I had put much time and effort into, but I was able to meet extraordinary young people who shared my passion for working in science. It was enriching with all the science projects and incredible ideas displayed. Interestingly, MILSET Expo combines STEAM projects exhibitions with cultural events, allowing visitors to get immersed in the local culture. 

During the four days, I presented my project to different people - from young children to professionals from the field of science and NASA representatives, that I got to personally speak to which was awesome. As part of the event, I took the role of an ambassador within the Young Citizens Conference, where we discussed the topic Our Future in Space, and presented our ideas. 

I am thankful for this opportunity to the Ministry of Education and the Evrika foundation, which made it possible for us to be a part of such an extraordinary event, and to my mentors and teachers who helped me prepare.