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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-13-2013
For the past 14 years, Intel has been distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes to winners of their annual Science Talent Search competiton. With over 1,700 applicants, chances of securing the grand $100,000 prize is very tough. However,Sara Volz, a high-school senior from Colorado Springs, won the top award for her research of algae biofuels. Jonah Kallenbach of Pennsylvania came in a close second for his bioinformatics study on protein binding for drug therapy and Adam Bowman, of Brentwood, Tennesee came in third for pulsed plasma device design.
Altogether, $630,000 was awarded to ten high-school seniors from across the United states. The truth is that the talent search actually streches back more than 70 years to 1942 when it was sponsored by Westinghouse. One of the most interesting things about this type of contest is understanding how useful it is for encouraging young adults to pursue a career in science and discovering whether or not it has helped launch the careers of those fortunate enough to win. With 2,500 contest finalists since its inception, figuring out where the winners are today is a mighty tall task. Thankfully, Scientific American has taken upon itself this mission and has uploaded a webpage that asks the question “Where are they now?”
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-20-2013
The Science Game Center (SGC) launched on April 19, 2012 and serves as a clearing house for all types of games for science education – card games, board games, video games and more. Games that also generate science data are also featured. For example, Eyewire is a brand new game from MIT that intends to map the human brain my crowd sourcing. Eyewire is from Sebastian Seung’s lab at MIT.
Serving as a central resource for educators to find games to use to teach students and as a resource to assist game developers in reaching their audience, the SGC is a valuable resource in a growing field. Key to the value the SGC offers is the opportunity for educators, scientists, and players to post their reviews of the games. Not only will these reviews inform teachers about how the games have been used by others, reviews will provide constructive feedback to the game developers about the accuracy of the scientific representations and about how much players enjoy the games. To make the SGC as useful as possible, we need reviews of games by the scientific community. Help us out; review some games. Take a break from reviewing technical papers, give one of the games a try, then try it again with your kids and submit your thoughts. Your reactions as a scientist may help guide teachers seeking games, and your review will be tempered by the comments of 5th graders.
For additional comments or questions, please contact David Orloff, Project Director or Melanie Stegman, Ph.D., Director of Learning Technologies Program at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). The FAS has also developed its own game Immune Attack and is currently developing the sequel, Immune Defense.This project is supported in part by a competitive grant from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF). FAS has supported research in effective learning technologies since 2001. See www.fas.org/programs/ltp for more information about Learning Technologies at FAS.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-12-2013
As part of the recently-launched Bio-Rad Science Ambassador Program, students in the sixth and seventh grade at Jefferson Middle School conducted the Genes in a Bottle™ experiment under the guidance of Science Ambassador, Dr. Lisa Eccles. An article subsequently appeared in Jefferson, Tennessee’s newspaper, The Standard Banner. The Science Ambassador concept has earned high praise from scientists and teachers alike. Even more important, the program has garnered rave reviews from students, who are able to conduct an exciting molecular biology experiment by themselves under the guidance of real scientists, who teach them the real-life laboratory procedures required to achieve success. Read the full article that appeared in The Standard Banner.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-06-2013
A recent study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that girls are more likely to score higher on scientific aptitude tests than boys…just not in America. The New York Times reported that girls generally outperform boys in many parts of the world such as Russia, Asia and the Middle East. Yet western societies are more likely to produce male scientists as cultural norms dictate that boys are more likely to see science as “something that affects their lives” in those parts of the world than girls are.
I spend lots of time on academic campuses hanging out with real world scientists and I have not noticed this trend. Have you? What are your thoughts?