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June 1998

Science fair winners clean up


Projects at the Colorado Computational Science Fair included a wide range of information-technology applications. This project from St. Mary's Academy, "Beat It," compares sine waves from four musical genres to see if music-recognition software can distinguish the genres' beat structures. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, George Washington High School in Denver, Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, and East High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, took first-place prizes at the Colorado Computational Science Fair, held 9 May at the Mesa Lab. Other schools around Colorado also won awards at the fair, which was cohosted by Colorado State University and NCAR. Silicon Graphics donated prizes.

Each of the 68 projects submitted for judging fell into one of two areas: computational science, where students use computers to solve scientific problems, or information technology, such as applications for the World Wide Web. The computational science category was further divided into two levels: students not yet enrolled in calculus were in Level One, and students enrolled in calculus or beyond were in Level Two. Group projects and individual projects were judged separately. The 153 participating students represented nine high schools in Colorado and one in Wyoming. National laboratories, computer-related businesses, and universities provided the 14 judges.

Two of the first-place projects will participate in the Adventures in Supercomputing (AiS) 1998 National Exposition in Washington, D.C., June 19-20. They are "The Path of a Comet," by Kelly O'Brien, Lisa Martinez, Kate Gregg, and Leah Mencin (St. Mary's Academy, Englewood), and "Recursive Topographic Cost Analysis Project," by Ken Scott and Holly Sullivan (George Washington High School, Denver).

For a complete list of winners, check the World Wide Web. Also, see the fair's Web site. •

Boulder Valley Science Fair winners get a day at NCAR

One of the perks this year for students who won the NCAR Science Fair Award for Excellence in the Atmospheric Sciences was a chance to discuss their project with Bob Serafin. The NCAR director visited with each of this year's four winners from the Boulder Valley District Schools Regional Science Fair as they came to NCAR on 21 April. Also part of the young scientists' day was a visit to the Research Aviation Facility at Jeffco.

Pictured with NCAR director Bob Serafin (center) are Boulder Valley Science Fair award winners, from left: Joshua Cockroft, Benjamin Howard, Aaron Burgess, and Karen McKinnon. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

Every year NOAA, NCAR, and the Denver-Boulder chapter of the American Meteorology Society award separate prizes to entrants in the regional fair, held this year at Crossroads Mall 21 February (elementary level) and 6-7 March (middle and high school level). Judges for the ninth annual NCAR prize were Bette Otto-Bliesner (CGD) and Alan Fried (ACD). Both senior and junior divisions ended up with a tie for the NCAR award. A family dynasty may be in the making, as senior winner Aaron Burgess follows in the footsteps of older brother Evan, a three-time NCAR winner. •BH

Senior division:

"Chemiluminescence: Light from a Chemical Reaction," Benjamin Howard (Southern Hills Middle School, Boulder),

"Lightning Risk," by Aaron Burgess (also from Southern Hills)

Junior division:

"Air Pollution," Joshua Cockroft (Ryan Elementary, Lafayette),

"Hot Times in the Greenhouse," Karen McKinnon (Mapleton Elementary, Boulder)

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

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