Students Innovate for a Better America Competition Students Innovate for a Better America Competition Students Innovate for a Better America Competition Students Innovate for a Better America Competition
       

CHALLENGE SELECTION:

Your school is invited to register for this program by developing a project that provides a solution to a "challenge" which engages students in a class-wide effort. Teachers and their teams may have the option of working on a challenge provided by a Virtual Scientist. You may also select from an online challenge (below), or submit your own idea to NMOE for review and approval at info@nmoe.org.

OUR SUBMITTED CHALLENGES:
  • The Southwest U.S. has experienced 11 years of drought. Paleo-ecologic evidence shows that droughts in the past lasted as long as 100 years. What Should We Do?
  • 45% of our electricity comes from Coal. Cap and Trade and EPA regulations will make coal power plants uneconomical. What Should We Do?
  • Natural gas exploration for shale gas is expanding to fill the gap from cutting back on coal production. There are many environmental and public acceptance issues related to this technology, especially in the Marcellus Shale in Western PA. What Should We Do?
  • H2 & You: Reducing dependency on home use of energy…Hydrogen – “The Unspillable Fuel”

  • Are plastics and other polymers really bad for the environment or are these materials receiving bad publicity?  Do their benefits in modern society outweigh any real problems?  What about recycling?  What solutions can you find to minimize the negative reputation and promote the positive properties of these unique materials?  Can you market to the public the values of recycling?  The Akron Global Polymer Academy website (www.agpa.uakron.edu/p16) will provide a good starting point for this challenge.
  • The citizens of Barberton, Ohio receive their tap water from a reservoir. The water is treated with chlorine that is added to disinfect the water. The addition of chlorine creates disinfection by products (DBPs) that are known carcinogens. How safe is Barberton's tap water? Design alternative method's to disinfect tap water that may be safer for Barberton's residents.
  • The automotive fuel industry is monopolized by environmentally harmful fossil fuels. The students of South Shore Charter Public School travel from over twenty different areas up to an hour away in individual vehicles. How can we limit the use of fossil fuels and lessen their negative environmental impacts within our school community?

 

Our Feature Challenge:
99-1     A Whale of a Problem    (2,4,7,14)

The National Museum of Education has joined forces with a marine research project named WhaleNet, located in Boston, Mass. (Click on their name to check out their web-site.) An important part of this research project is tagging whales, sea turtles, and dolphins with electronic devices that radio important data about the animal's migratory habits, etc. Unfortunately, these expensive electronic "tags" tend to fall off of the animal within a week or less. So far, various designs of barbs and/or adhesives have been used for attaching the tags. The researchers at WhaleNet are earnestly seeking a more secure method of attaching these electronic devices to the marine animals. If you have any suggestions, send them to us here at the Museum. And, if your suggestion is really outstanding, there is the possibility that you could be flown to Boston to test out your idea in person!
ACADEMIC KEY:
1 Art 5 Computer Sci 9 Graphic Art 13 Physics
2 Biology 6 Earth Science 10 Health 14 Physical Science
3 Business 7 Electronics 11 Home Ec 15 Social Studies
4 Chemistry 8 English 12 Math 16 Foreign Language

98-1    UP IN SMOKE    (2,8,10,15)
Health official would like to know why students smoke. Design and  conduct a survey to learn the reasons. Compile and interpret the results.
98-2    THE VALUE OF AGE    (1,3,8,9,15)
Many young people and young adults fail to recognize the value of our elderly population. Design a program or marketing/advertising strategy that would involve young people with senior cirizens so that they will come ot better understand and appreciate one another.
98-3    BIRDS OF A FEATHER    (2,14)
Unwanted flocks of birds are a troublesome problem to some businesses. These birds tend to congregate around buildings, creating problems. Devise a method of preventing birds from congregating. The method must be safe and harmless to both the birds and humans.
98-4    SHOW ME    (6,14)
Some scientific concepts are difficult to get across to students in the classroom. The Coriolis Effect is one. Can you think of a way to   effectively explain and demonstrate it in the classroom? If so, write a description of how to construct whatever equipment or models you would need. Please include drawings.
98-5    SWINGS BOTH WAYS    (6,14)
Devise an interesting and understandable way to demonstrate and explain in a classroom the principle of the Foucault Pendulum. This should be a method that can be easily employed by any teacher in any classroom.

ACADEMIC KEY:
1 Art 5 Computer Sci 9 Graphic Art 13 Physics
2 Biology 6 Earth Science 10 Health 14 Physical Science
3 Business 7 Electronics 11 Home Ec 15 Social Studies
4 Chemistry 8 English 12 Math 16 Foreign Language

98-6     "NOZONE"    (All areas)
The ozone layer at 35,000 feet is good for you. The ozone layer when it's at nose level is not! When inhaled, ozone is produced by photocopiers, electric motors, and the interaction of sunlight on auto exhaust. Develop a way to detect ozone.
98-7    BIKER     (7,9,10,13)
Riding a bike at night can be dangerous! Modify a bike to make it safer (more visible)
to ride at dusk/night.
98-8     CONVECTION PROJECTION    (1,9,13,14)
Create a demonstration designed to utilize an overhead projector that will demonstrate fluid convection currents. A major science supply company is interested in your ideas on this one.
98-9    WINDY     (1,6,9,14)
Why does the wind blow? Pretty simple, don't you think? Now you need to create a demonstration that utilizes an overhead projector to answer what seems like a simple question. A major science supply company is interested in this one too!
98-10     APPARENTLY DOPPLER    (7,13,14)
Ever notice the change in pitch from the noise a car or train makes when it passes you? That's the Doppler effect! Find a way to demonstrate the Doppler effect in the classroom. You must demonstrate that the change in wavelength is apparent ONLY to the observer.

ACADEMIC KEY:
1 Art 5 Computer Sci 9 Graphic Art 13 Physics
2 Biology 6 Earth Science 10 Health 14 Physical Science
3 Business 7 Electronics 11 Home Ec 15 Social Studies
4 Chemistry 8 English 12 Math 16 Foreign Language

98-11     "G"    (13,14)
Like to ride the "Rotor" at the amusement parks because you love the thrill of the floor dropping out from under you? Gravitational forces are particularly hard to demonstrate in the classroom, but we're sure there are a few Newtons out there who can give us some ideas.
98-12     "I'M FALLLLIINNGGGG!!!"    (13)
The weightlessness of falling objects can be a difficult concept to understand. Design an easy but effective method to demonstrate zero-gravity in the classroom.
98-13    EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON    (6)
If ocean tides are caused by the moon's gravitational pull, then why do high tides always appear on the side of the earth that is OPPOSITE THE MOON? Design a unique and simple way to demonstrate this odd behavior of ocean tides.
98-14     RUNNING ON ENTROPY    (13)
Design an effective and unique method of demonstrating the law of conservation of energy.
98-15     THROWING A CURVE    (6,9,12)
If you ever looked at a topographic map then you have seen contour lines. But what do they mean? Design a method for effectively demonstrating the use of contour lines to a classroom.

ACADEMIC KEY:
1 Art 5 Computer Sci 9 Graphic Art 13 Physics
2 Biology 6 Earth Science 10 Health 14 Physical Science
3 Business 7 Electronics 11 Home Ec 15 Social Studies
4 Chemistry 8 English 12 Math 16 Foreign Language

98-16        VOLUME/DENSITY DEMONSTRATOR    (14)
A difficult concept for many students to understand is the relationship between volume and density. You know, like when you squeeze a sponge... the volume decreases but the density increases. Right? If you completely understand this concept, then how about helping those who don't. Design an effective device that will demonstrate this phenomenon safely in the classroom.
98-17     WHITHER THE WHETHER?    (6)
Any devices you invent that assist in the forecasting and measurement of weather would be of very great interest to us. (Any ideas you have for improving the weather around here would be appreciated even more!)
98-18    AC OR DC? THAT IS THE QUESTION    (7,13)
A safe and effective way to demonstrate the difference between the behavior of alternating current and direct current would be extremely useful...and marketable! Any ideas?
98-19     CREATE A LOGO    (1,3,4,9)
The Suburban Seamless Gutter company of Hudson, Ohio, needs a logo for their business. See what you can do!
98-20     SLEEPY TIMES IN ANTSVILLE            (2,7,14)
Insects are very temperature sensitive. When it is cold, they become dormant; when it becomes warm, they become active again. We want to find out at what temperature the average ant wakes up and goes to work. This problem is sponsored by Blaze Technical Services, Inc., a manufacturer of thermocouples. These are electronic temperature sensors which come in many sizes and shapes. To be awarded, you must consult their online catalog of thermocouples and propose a method of solving this problem. You do not actually have to take the temperature of sleepy ants!! Using any of the styles thermocouples you see pictured in the web site (plus any other devices) propose a workable method (in writing) by which a researcher could accurately gather this data on ants. Keep it simple and have fun. The best idea(s) will receive a free dual input hand held thermometer and two thermocouples!!

 

Motorola

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