The countdown to
choosing the nation's top young scientist began today as Discovery Communications
announced 400 middle school students from 44 states, including 12 from
Colorado, are selected as semifinalists in the 2007 Discovery Channel
Young Scientist Challenge (DCYSC). Colorado ranks 9th behind Texas (40),
Florida (37), California (35), Missouri (22), Arizona (20), Utah (16),
Ohio & Michigan (15) and Indiana (14) in number of students selected
as semifinalists. With a focus on the environment and sustainable development,
the 40 students who go on to qualify as finalists will tackle some of
the planet's most significant environmental challenges, dubbed Operation
Green, with the winner chosen in Washington, DC, October 21 - 24.
In its ninth year,
the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge is the nation's premier
science contest for students in grades 5 through 8, designed to encourage
the exploration of science during the critical middle school years.
Discovery Communications launched the competition in partnership with
Science Service to nurture the next generation of American scientists
at a critical age when interest in science begins to decline.
In this year's
competition, students will investigate climate change, global warming
and eco-friendly initiatives such as recycling and green building design.
The contest's environmental theme reflects Discovery Communication's
long standing mission to preserve and protect our planet - a commitment
that moves to a new level with the launch in early 2008 of Planet Green,
a TV channel in more than 50 million homes dedicated to all things green.
Channel Young Scientist Challenge has always been an important part
of our company's commitment to science education. There is a real crisis
in this country when it comes to scientific proficiency, and Discovery
Communications remains steadfast in our mission to advance science literacy
and achievement across America's school system," said David Zaslav,
President and CEO, Discovery Communications.
The contest identifies
and honors those who best demonstrate leadership, teamwork, scientific
problem-solving and the ability to be an effective science communicator
- a goal that reflects Discovery's philosophy that scientific knowledge
is most valuable when it is shared. This year's qualifying science fair
projects draw upon a broad array of disciplines, including biochemistry,
physics, mathematics, engineering and zoology.
Scientist Challenge targets students as they first pursue seriously
their innate fascination with the natural world," said Elizabeth
Marincola, President and CEO, Science Service, the non-profit organization
that administers the Challenge. "In partnership with Discovery
Communications, Science Service is delighted to nurture these outstanding
young scientists, encouraging their interest in research and helping
build their skills in promoting public engagement in science."
"As the United
States struggles to compete with other nations in the fields of science
and technology, DCYSC plays an important role by letting goal-oriented,
knowledgeable and imaginative students showcase their science success
stories to younger students. This year's semifinalists represent the
country's next generation of science leaders," said Steve Jacobs,
DCYSC Head Judge. "Even more impressive, and a fundamental part
of our competition, is their skill in explaining their work to others,
a prerequisite of scientific leadership. It is crucial that we continue
to play a role in developing the skill sets that young people will need
as the demand for eco-friendly innovation increases."
About the Semifinalists
The semifinalists were selected from 1,960 formal entries chosen
from a pool of 75,000 students who entered science fairs nationwide.
The 12 students
selected from Colorado are:
grade 6, of Colorado Springs, CO for his project entitled Pop Goes
Kerry Betz, grade
8, of Boulder, CO for her project entitled Something's Decaying
in My Basement.
grade 6, of Durango, CO for her project entitled Jammin' Germs.
grade 8, of Denver, CO for her project entitled Ecological Friendly
grade 7, of Dove Creek, CO for her project entitled Biological
Control of Canada Thistle: Analyzing Three Natural Insect Enemies.
Lorne Muir II,
grade 7, of Colorado Springs, CO for his project entitled Hydrophobic
grade 7, of Colorado Springs, CO for his project entitled A Software
Tool to Calculate Alignment of Nucleotide Sequences to Classify the
grade 6, of Durango, CO for his project entitled The Reggae Effect:
The Effect of TV, Reading, and Music on Recall.
grade 8, of Boulder, CO for his project entitled Natural vs. Synthetic
Polymers in Today's World.
grade 7, of Colorado Springs, CO for his project entitled Sound
Sara Volz, grade
6, of Colorado Springs, CO for her project entitled What Common
Substances Best Kill Bacteria on the Skin?.
grade 8, of Denver, CO for his project entitled What Are You Looking
At? How Age and Gender Influence How Web Sites Are Viewed.
The countdown to
choosing America's top young scientist continues on September 12, when
the field is narrowed by the Challenge judges to the "Final Forty."
In October, the 40 finalists and their families will come to Washington,
DC, where they will take part in a series of team-based, interactive
challenges focused on this year's environmental theme. The students
will compete for more than $100,000 worth of scholarships and special
prizes, as well as the title of "America's Top Young Scientist
of the Year."
About the Competition
In 1999, Discovery created the Young Scientist Challenge to help
lift achievement in science and math among middle school students. Nearly
16,000 children have entered the Young Scientist Challenge since its
inception. Winners have received approximately $700,000 in scholarship
awards and federal government recognition, and have participated in
science-related trips that have taken them around the world.
Discovery Communications is the number one nonfiction media company
reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries.
Through TV and digital media, Discovery's 100-plus worldwide networks
include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The Science Channel,
Discovery Health and Discovery HD Theater. Discovery Communications
is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse
Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Discovery's founder and chairman.
For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Science Service is the nonprofit organization that administers the
DCYSC. Based in Washington, DC, Science Service is dedicated to advancing
the understanding and appreciation of science around the globe through
its publications, outreach, and educational programs. A leading and
widely respected organization advancing the cause of science, Science
Service has a sterling reputation for producing high-quality competitions
on the national and international level, including the Intel Science
Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair;
and for publishing the weekly Science News magazine and the online Science
News for Kids.
Planet Green is Discovery Communications' global, cross-company
initiative with a commitment to document, preserve and celebrate the
planet, including the first 24-hour TV network scheduled to launch in
early 2008. Planet Green speaks to people who want to understand green
living and to those who are excited to make a difference by providing
tools and information to meet the critical challenge of protecting our
Discovery is pleased to have Elmer's Products, Inc. as a sponsor
of the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. Elmer's has a proud
tradition of supporting education, including science. Elmer's believes
science taught through science fairs serves as a major benefit to students,
allowing students to develop skills in problem-solving, research, writing,
public speaking and time management. Elmer's, headquartered in Columbus,
OH, has been a trusted brand and industry leader for more than 50 years,
producing adhesives and a variety of well-known arts-and-carfts products
that enhance creativity.