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Daily news, blogs and biweekly magazine articles from Science News.
Updated: 1 year 15 weeks ago

How to succeed: make mistakes and celebrate differences

Thu, 2016-11-03 07:00
The alumni panelRebecca Alford, a Ph.D. student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She is an alumna of the 2012 Science Talent Search and 2011 and 2012 International Science and Engineering Fair.Jennifer Barrett, the Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery at Virginia Tech. She is alumna of the 1987 Science Talent Search.Grace Chung Becker, a Former Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She is an alumna of the 1987 Science Talent Search.Robert Beckman, a professor of Oncology and Biostatistics, Bioinformatics & Biomathematics at Georgetown University Medical Center and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an alum of the 1974 Science Talent Search.
Categories: Science & Math News

Broadcom MASTERS awards $100,000 in prizes at 2016 national middle school STEM competition

Wed, 2016-11-02 09:06
Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced the winners of the sixth annual national Broadcom MASTERS competition for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.Broadcom Foundation and the Society also announced first and second place winners in each of the STEM categories of science, technology, engineering, and math, the Team Award, and two Rising Stars who will be the U.S. delegates at the Broadcom MASTERS International and official observers to Intel ISEF in May.Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 top finalists (15 girls and 15 boys) from 15 states, 28 public and private schools, and one home school. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers, and educators.The finalists were selected from 2,342 nationwide competitors nominated by judges at 300 state and regional science fairs from 49 states and 4 U.S. territories.
Categories: Science & Math News

Building robotic blue crab arms at the Chesapeake Bay

Tue, 2016-11-01 16:12
The Chesapeake Bay is full of critters. The 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists got hands-on experience wading into the bay to collect aquatic wildlife at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) on Monday. “I enjoyed [being] put me out of my comfort zone, as I’m not usually exposed to such hands-on research in an aquatic environment!” said Adishree Ghatare, one of the finalists.
Categories: Science & Math News

Mastering the Raspberry Pi and back-up plans

Mon, 2016-10-31 16:15
Day Two of the Broadcom MASTERS got off to an exciting start with the first group challenge, Rube’s Raspberry Challenge, organized by the Computer History Museum.The Challenge: “Each team must collaborate to design, code and build a system that receives the input of a rolling ball to turn on an LED. The ball must interact with an input device connected to a Raspberry Pi computer, to trigger a piece of code with will turn on a light. Creativity is encouraged!”
Categories: Science & Math News

Designing brains for space and nutritional games

Mon, 2016-10-31 11:36
Middle school students don't always get to tour and meet medical students at a top medical university. But that's how the 2016 Broadcom MASTERS finalists got to spend their Sunday at the Georgetown University Medical School.First-year medical students gave the finalists a tour of the Georgetown University campus and the medical school. During the tour and over lunch, the medical students and finalists got to know each other and shared their interests and hobbies.The Georgetown students even offered advice to the finalists who expressed an interest in medicine, like continuing to do exactly what they're doing, staying involved in science fairs and STEM opportunities.
Categories: Science & Math News

Getting their STEM on

Sat, 2016-10-29 15:06
Dozens of judges and the public attended the 2016 Broadcom MASTERS Project Showcase on Saturday, October 29 at the National Geographic Society. Students from local schools, parents, and members of the public came to meet the finalists and learn about their projects.View some photos from the showcase below.Shreya studied the effect of soap nut gray water on the environment. Gray water isn't safe for drinking, but it can be used for other purposes to conserve during droughts. Used laundry water can be harmful to reuse because of the chemicals. But gray water from soap nut, a natural detergent, worked well, she found.
Categories: Science & Math News

Broadcom MASTERS 2016 has begun

Sat, 2016-10-29 12:11
/*-->*/ /*-->*/ "They're awesome, they're interesting, and really nice people. I like how we all share a passion for science, and math, and technology," said Ariya Eppinger, from Pennsylvania.She just met her Broadcom MASTERS teammates Friday afternoon and already feels like they're becoming good friends.The 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists from all over the country convened in Washington, D.C. for teambuilding activities and to get to know each other."I'm most excited to do the team activities because they seem like a lot of fun," Ariya said. She's referring to the several team challenges the finalists will participate in throughout the week.
Categories: Science & Math News

This animal lover plans to become a vet

Tue, 2016-10-25 07:00
Madison Toonder loves animals. She loves them so much she spent her summer at a veterinary intensive program. She also interns at an animal hospital and volunteers at a zoo.Read our interview with Madison, a 2015 Broadcom MASTERS finalist, below to learn more about her animal adoration, which fruit vet students practice surgeries on, and how she plans to achieve her lofty goals.
Categories: Science & Math News

How ancient microbes 'invented' metabolism

Mon, 2016-10-24 12:15
Meet Dianne NewmanFind out why she believes science fairs have the power to motivate and her favorite moment as a 1987 and 1988 Intel ISEF finalist.Read more.Microbial biochemistry holds the key to some of the most pressing problems facing society today. They can help explore how to generate renewable energy, feed the planet by sustainably providing fixed nitrogen to plants, fight bacterial infections, clean up oil spills, and so much more.
Categories: Science & Math News

This MacArthur Fellow researches how bacteria shaped the Earth

Mon, 2016-10-24 12:00
The wonders of microbial metabolismLearn more about the ancient microbes that shaped the Earth's geosphere, "invented" metabolism, and came to the rescue during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Read more.Dianne Newman was recently named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow for her research on the role bacteria played in shaping the Earth and in modern biomedical contexts. Dianne works with bacterial genetics, studying the metabolic diversity of microorganisms. She also wants to dispel the common misconception that it's hard to be a woman in science.
Categories: Science & Math News

Creating a new generation of prosthetics

Sun, 2016-10-23 14:59
Why this high school student chases utopiasRead our profile with Luiz to find out why he chases utopias, his current STEM goals, and achieving his dream by attending Intel ISEF.Read more.Luiz Fernando da Silva Borges, a Brazilian high school student, is working to make it possible for those who use prosthetic limbs to recover their lost movements.
Categories: Science & Math News

DIY brain hacking and more

Fri, 2016-10-21 11:31
Laura Sanders was having a blast as a creative writing major at Vanderbilt University — but something felt wrong. “It was fiction writing, and we would just make up stories and have seminars and have a lot of fun. Halfway through I thought: Maybe I should add science.”Smart move. Now the neuroscience reporter for Science News (which she became after adding a biology major and going on to get a Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of Southern California), Laura’s having even more fun covering one of the most dynamic scientific fields around. “I love that I get these quick hits of people doing the most exciting work at the height of their careers,” she says. “The papers we’re reading and the stories we’re finding are the best of the best.”
Categories: Science & Math News

Dissecting pig lungs to learn how we breathe

Thu, 2016-10-20 16:05
Dissecting pig and sheep lungs to learn how people breathe is how one teen spent her summer. Hari Bhimaraju loves biomedical science and learning about how the body works.Read our interview with Hari, a 2015 Broadcom MASTERS finalist, below to learn more about her dissections, her medicine management app, and what fruit represents burn victims.WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT STEM GOALS: I'm working on a medicine management system for the elderly and visually-impaired.  I submitted this project to ProjectCSGirls in June and was a national winner!There was no comprehensive medicine management system. So I designed an iPhone-based solution.
Categories: Science & Math News

Building ion thrusters to take astronauts to distant stars

Wed, 2016-10-19 07:00
Building the next generation of ion thrusters to take astronauts to more distant stars — before entering high school. That's one of Avery Clowes' goals."I've been working on powering the next generation of ion thrusters," said Avery, a 2015 Broadcom MASTERS finalist. "I've engineered a system that is potentially cheaper, more efficient, and even beneficial to astronauts."Avery built an electrostatic generator that creates electrostatic charges from falling water. His system utilizes electrostatic power generation through Van de Graaff generators.I've been working on powering the next generation of ion thrusters with a cheaper, more efficient system.Avery was inspired by a nineteenth century device called the Lord Kelvin's water dropper. He wondered how placement of the coils inside the device affected its voltage.
Categories: Science & Math News

One scientist's 'nerdy delight' drives her to solve problems

Thu, 2016-10-13 07:00
Frances Barron got hooked on biochemistry through watching sea urchin fertilization in an undergraduate lab. As Vice President of Biology and Regulatory Affairs at Nanomedical Diagnostics, a biotech company in San Diego, California, Frances asks herself how the complex processes of forming life can be harnessed to solve medical problems.Frances, a 1998 Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist, believes the next generation of scientists need to think about topics that will fascinate them. Then they'll find a career path that will be most rewarding.Read our interview with Frances below to learn how she defines "nerdy delight" and find out how working pro bono turned into a full-time role at Nanomedical Diagnostics.
Categories: Science & Math News

Science is the most powerful way to change communities and the world

Tue, 2016-10-11 11:30
As a high school student, Jessika Baral applied for a patent on a device she invented. Not many high school students can graduate saying they've done that.Jessika created a device that strengthens eye muscles and improves peripheral vision. She also donated several of the devices to vision-challenged high school students. Now she's working to develop at test for small cell lung cancer.Jessika wants people of all genders, races, and ages to engage in science. "We may all be different people, but one of the main things that binds us together is our curiosity," she said. "Science is the most powerful way to change both our local communities and the world at large."
Categories: Science & Math News

Ways you contribute to STEM

Thu, 2016-10-06 13:42
Share your stories and photos of how you give to science with the Society for Science & the Public. We want to spread the ways that people can be involved in STEM fields.If you submit a photo and caption of how you give to science to by October 24, you'll be entered to win one of our T-shirts with the names of exoplanets!Give to Science Day is November 9. The Society celebrates Give to Science Day each year to secure support for our mission: to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.
Categories: Science & Math News

'We were all inspired by science'

Tue, 2016-10-04 07:00
As an American high school student walked throughout China and met local students, she realized in spite of their different language and culture, "we were all inspired by the same thing — science."Katie Younglove, a 2016 Intel ISEF finalist, recently returned to the U.S. after a special awards trip to China. The group of finalists chosen to travel to China spent over a week visiting several cities, schools, and other students interested in STEM.The finalists hail from Boulder, Colorado, a small college town. In comparison, Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai all had an electrifying feeling, Katie said.
Categories: Science & Math News

How to build your community of geeks

Sat, 2016-10-01 15:58
"You've got to have a community of geeks to build a successful science program," said Lisa Scott, a teacher in Florida. "I tell my students, yes you're geeks, but so are we (the teachers)," Lisa said.A geek is just someone who is excited about what they're doing, she explained during a panel at the Research Teachers Conference, sponsored by Regeneron. The conference was held in Washington, D.C. on September 30 to October 1, 2016.You need a community of geeks to build a successful science program.Stephen Sullivan, a New York high school teacher, co-led with Lisa. He is a historian, but his students are interested in science fields like archeology and demographics, so he helps them into science fairs.
Categories: Science & Math News


Sat, 2016-10-01 14:58
Sometimes the hardest thing for students to do is find a topic that interests them for a science research project, said Phyllis Serfaty, a teacher in New York.Phyllis led a panel, along with Mitch Charkiewicz, a teacher in Suffield, Connecticut, and Kim Failor, a teacher at Stanford Online High School, at the Research Teachers Conference, sponsored by Regeneron. The conference was held in Washington, D.C. on September 30 to October 1, 2016.Phyllis tries to get her students interested in science topics by presenting science articles of various fields."I love Science News because it covers so many different STEM fields. It's all here," Phyllis said.She asks her students to find three things in an article that they can possibly build research on. Students can use something from the article and build on it, such as plumbers who work with lead, wash their clothes, and lead residue remains in the washing machine.
Categories: Science & Math News

NSF logo This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-0840824. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.