Good Thinking

Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge finals underway

Discovery Channel Young Scient...
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Team members, Taylor Jones, right, 12, of Maryville, TN and Ruslan Werntz, 16, of Coppell, TX, generate a wave to measure wave dynamics and testing wave barriers during an exercise in the Tsunami Science to explore the “Forces of Nature” Photographer:
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Team members, Taylor Jones, right, 12, of Maryville, TN and Ruslan Werntz, 16, of Coppell, TX, generate a wave to measure wave dynamics and testing wave barriers during an exercise in the Tsunami Science to explore the “Forces of Nature” Photographer:
Team members, Colleen Ryan, right, 12, of Chillicothe, Ohio, and Alexander Uribe, 14, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, test the chemical and physical properties of methane gas in the “Methane Mamba” to explore the “Forces of Nature” Photographer: Robin Weiner
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Team members, Colleen Ryan, right, 12, of Chillicothe, Ohio, and Alexander Uribe, 14, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, test the chemical and physical properties of methane gas in the “Methane Mamba” to explore the “Forces of Nature” Photographer: Robin Weiner
Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalists, (l) Alexander Uribe, 14, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, and (r) Nilesh Tripuraneni, 14, of Fresno, California, discuss Tripuraneni’s project on using electrolysis to produce hydrogen from seawater, at the N
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Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalists, (l) Alexander Uribe, 14, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, and (r) Nilesh Tripuraneni, 14, of Fresno, California, discuss Tripuraneni’s project on using electrolysis to produce hydrogen from seawater, at the N
Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Elijah Mena, 14, of Gales Ferry, Connecticut explains his project on Ethanol production using mushrooms at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC Photographer: Paul Morigi
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Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Elijah Mena, 14, of Gales Ferry, Connecticut explains his project on Ethanol production using mushrooms at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC Photographer: Paul Morigi
Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Jacob Perry, 11, of Livingston, Montana, displays how wind can be used to create energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on October 16, 2005. (Paul Morigi)
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Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Jacob Perry, 11, of Livingston, Montana, displays how wind can be used to create energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on October 16, 2005. (Paul Morigi)
Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Garrett Yazzie, 14, of the Navajo Nation in Pinon, Arizona, explains how he built a solar water heater from a 1967 Pontiac radiator at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on October 16,
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Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge Finalist, Garrett Yazzie, 14, of the Navajo Nation in Pinon, Arizona, explains how he built a solar water heater from a 1967 Pontiac radiator at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on October 16,
Jacob Perry, 11, of Livingston, MT and his teammates test how tornados and hurricanes form during an exercise in the Eye of the Storm exercise to explore the “Forces of Nature” at Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. Photographer: Robin Weiner
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Jacob Perry, 11, of Livingston, MT and his teammates test how tornados and hurricanes form during an exercise in the Eye of the Storm exercise to explore the “Forces of Nature” at Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. Photographer: Robin Weiner

October 18, 2005 The seventh Annual Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge finals are underway at the University of Maryland this week. The 40 finalists are competing in team-based, interactive simulated challenges designed around the theme of "Forces of Nature." In the wake of the recent natural disasters that ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States and Southeast Asia, each student will face challenges - from fog banks, to hurricanes, to tsunamis - that utilize their broad range of knowledge in order to understand the implications and scope of natural disasters. The action-packed activities will be taped for broadcast on the Discovery Channel.

The forty finalists have traveled on an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC from 18 states and Puerto Rico (most notably, eight from Florida and 4 each from Hawaii and Texas.) The 40 finalists include 21 males and 19 females. By grade level, they include 1 fifth grader, 3 sixth graders, 5 seventh graders and 31 eighth graders. The grade listed for each student is for the 2004-2005 school year (when they entered the awards) and these students have now advanced to the next grade level. A list of finalists and their projects can be found here (be prepared to feel humble when you compare your scientific understanding at a similar tender age).

These students were chosen from 1,976 entrants representing 269 affiliated fairs from 45 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The forty finalists will share over US$100,000 in scholarships and other prizes with the top winner being awarded a US$20,000 scholarship. Winners will be announced at a final awards ceremony on Wednesday (October 19, 2005).

The finalists were chosen based upon the excellence of their projects presented at local Science Service-affiliated fairs across the United States.

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