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Watering the Air
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Where Have All the Bees Gone?
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How to Fly Like a Bat
A Butterfly's New Green Glow
Thieves of a Feather
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Math is a real brain bender
Eating Troubles
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
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Chemistry and Materials
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Heaviest named element is official
Computers
Supersonic Splash
The science of disappearing
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
Hunting by Sucking, Long Ago
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Earth Rocks On
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Environment
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
Inspired by Nature
Alien Invasions
Finding the Past
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Settling the Americas
Your inner Neandertal
Fish
Freshwater Fish
Barracudas
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
The Color of Health
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Play for Science
Human Body
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
A Better Flu Shot
Cell Phone Tattlers
Invertebrates
Fleas
Scorpions
Roundworms
Mammals
Manxes
African Camels
Bobcats
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Invisibility Ring
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Plants
Seeds of the Future
Surprise Visitor
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Alligators
Chameleons
Reptiles
Space and Astronomy
A Great Ball of Fire
A Planet's Slim-Fast Plan
Icy Red Planet
Technology and Engineering
Machine Copy
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Searching for Alien Life
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Where rivers run uphill
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Science loses out when ice caps melt
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The Science Fair Circuit

For some kids, entering science fairs is like eating cookies. It's hard to stop at just one. The research is interesting, these students say. The competitions are exciting, and you can win prizes. Best of all, joining the science fair circuit is a great way to make friends. "I like meeting kids who are also passionate about science," says Peter Borden, now an 11th grader at Seacrest School in Naples, Fla. Peter, 15, traveled to Indianapolis last May to present his most recent discovery—that bacteria unexpectedly live at the upper edge of Earth's atmosphere. He was one of nearly 1,500 high school students from 47 countries to compete at the 2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Of these 1,500 kids, Peter belonged to a group of 31 students who had previously competed in the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge (DCYSC). The DCYSC brings together 40 of the nation's top middle school science fair winners each year for an action-packed, team competition. Both DCYSC and ISEF are organized by Science Service, a nonprofit organization that publishes Science News magazine and Science News for Kids. Getting there In order to qualify for ISEF, high school students must work their way through as many as four local, state, and regional fairs, placing at or near the top of each. It's a rigorous process, but Peter and his colleagues say that their DCYSC experience helped them get there. Perhaps most useful of all, they say, DCYSC makes a big deal out of communication. This competition doesn't reward participants simply for the results of their research. Its prizes go to students who can also speak clearly, even when talking about challenging fields, such as astrophysics or molecular biology. "I used to talk with complex words," Peter says. "Now that I've been to DCYSC, I know I have to talk to people in their terms." Noise makers Joanna Guy, a 10th grader at Southern Garrett High School in Oakland, Md., has honed both her communications skills and her research skills as a result of competing in science fairs. She's also gained self-confidence. Talking to the judges, she says, entails "telling them about the project and why it's important. You don't have to be afraid of them." Speaking clearly is important. When Joanna explained her research to me, she got straight to the point. "I think our country needs to decrease its dependence on foreign oil," she says. Joanna believes that wind turbines could be a great way to produce energy (see "Power of the Wind"). But some people have argued that windmills kill too many bats and birds to be worth the investment. Joanna designed an experiment that she hoped would help resolve this disagreement. She hung bird feeders in her backyard. Then, she used a machine called the Bird-X Critter Blaster Pro to blast loud, annoying sounds into the air. At other times, she played a device that emitted ultrasonic signals. Joanna found that the birds ate far fewer seeds when the audible sounds were blaring than when she played the ultrasonic device or no sound at all. The blasting noise evidently disturbed the birds more. Windmills that scream, Joanna proposes, could create energy in an environment-friendly and animal-friendly way. Their noise would keep the birds away. She plans next to investigate other possible bird deterrents, such as infrasound or strobe lights. A single idea For some kids, a single idea sparks a project that lasts for years. These students begin presenting their research at DCYSC, and then continue with presentations on the same topic at ISEF. That happened to Kelydra Welcker (see "Pollution Detective") with mosquitoes and environmental toxins and Erica David (see "Snow Traps") with snow. Liz Baker of Tucson, Ariz., who's now in college, was a DCYSC competitor who participated in ISEF four times. Unlike Kelydra and Erica, Liz focused on different subjects throughout the years. But in 2006, she returned to a project that she'd started in seventh grade. Liz Baker with her "Wishing Tree" project at the 2006 ISEF. Liz Baker with her "Wishing Tree" project at the 2006 ISEF. V. Miller When she began the work, the new millennium had just started. At the time, the media were producing reports about how self-centered and shopping-focused people in the United States had become. "I didn't believe it," says Liz, 17. "I wanted to either prove them wrong or give the media validation." The best way to find out what really matters to people, Liz thought, is to learn more about their deepest dreams. So, she turned a huge pine tree in her front yard into a "Wishing Tree." Her street is famous for its Christmas decorations, so over the holiday season, she asked people stopping by to write down their wishes and hang the anonymous notes on the tree. She did this for 6 years. She collected 29,095 wishes. When Liz analyzed the notes that people had posted, she found some interesting trends. She could even track fads: For example, people expressed fewer wishes for scooters as iPods became more popular. She also noticed a shift after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. That year, people made selfish wishes only 40 percent of the time, compared with 70 percent the year before. Even though selfish wishes rebounded in the following years, Liz was happy to see that a significant number of wishes had nothing to do with toys, gadgets, or other stuff. "It gives me hope that people wish for love, peace, health, and happiness," she says. Keep trying During their work, Liz and the other young researchers learned that all scientists experience setbacks. The number-one rule, these participants now know, is to never give up. "Keep entering," Liz says. "Keep trying!"

The Science Fair Circuit
The Science Fair Circuit








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