Agriculture
Seeds of the Future
Silk’s superpowers
Springing forward
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Salamanders
Animals
Fishy Sounds
Copybees
Spotting the World's Leggiest Animal
Behavior
Homework blues
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
The nerve of one animal
Birds
Macaws
Hummingbirds
Pheasants
Chemistry and Materials
Atomic Drive
Music of the Future
Heaviest named element is official
Computers
It's a Small E-mail World After All
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Bugs with Gas
Environment
Improving the Camel
Acid Snails
Pollution Detective
Finding the Past
Untangling Human Origins
Chicken of the Sea
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Fish
Electric Eel
Barracudas
Freshwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Nature's Medicines
A Fix for Injured Knees
Invertebrates
Hermit Crabs
Insects
Black Widow spiders
Mammals
Manxes
Bloodhounds
Otters
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Gaining a Swift Lift
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Plants
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Flower family knows its roots
Surprise Visitor
Reptiles
Asp
Tortoises
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Evidence of a Wet Mars
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
A Satellite of Your Own
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Charged cars that would charge
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
A Change in Climate
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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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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