This exhilarating and hopeful film tells the story of high school students from several schools in the USA, Brazil (two students from a rural area take on the Zeka virus), Germany (a student takes on aerospace) as they prepare for their state or national science fairs and then, for the winners, on to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). It demonstrates not only intelligence and interest in the world and science but that these modest young people, and those who teach and mentor them, are seeking to transform the world for the betterment of people.
Directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster build the tension and excitement so well by letting students tell their stories; I was interested all the way through. I appreciated the diversity and the build-in visual and verbal commentary that energizes the narrative. The kids are at once mature and immature, geeky and nerdy but so very human and humane. Some come from schools that have few resources, yet the students seek to solve real problems through science. The filmmakers capture “the joy and spirit” of these teenagers who, for some, are participating in the ISEF for the first time. If you want to “geek out” by rejoicing with young people who are willing to try, treat yourself to this film.