[ASC-media] Intel ® Young Scientist of the Year announced at the Powerhouse Museum

Van Tiel, Michael Michaelv at PHM.GOV.AU
Tue Oct 28 13:23:36 EST 2003


Intel ® Young Scientist of the Year announced at the Powerhouse Museum 

Cousins Marcus and Simeon Cannon of Redeemer Baptist School in Castle Hill
have jointly been announced as the Intel Young Scientist of the Year at a
presentation ceremony at the Powerhouse Museum on Friday 24 October. 

Marcus and Simeon, 16 & 15 years old respectively, received the title, as
well as 1st prize in the Scientific Research category and an Intel Australia
award, following their research into a very topical issue - deep-vein
thrombosis while travelling on aeroplanes. 

Marcus and Simeon took their 'Jet gym' working model, a device for
exercising the legs which they developed in 2002, and updated it to
incorporate ultrasound imaging to measure blood flow in the leg veins. Their
research showed that blood flow can drop by up to 80 percent if the subject
falls asleep, and that exercises recommended by airlines did not return
blood flow to original levels. Their research also revealed that when
subjects used the students' new version of the Jet Gym, blood flow really
did improve.

The Jet Gym project is now on display at the Powerhouse Museum as part of
the Intel Young Scientist 2003 exhibition, along with the works of 20 first,
second and third prize winners from four competition categories - creative
writing, multimedia, scientific research and working models. Some of the
diverse winning entries in the exhibition include:

*	A backyard snow-making device by 15 year old Oliver Johnson of Shore
School in North Sydney (1st prize winner in the senior secondary section of
the working models category). Johnson built a device that combines
compressed air and water to make snow. The compressed air atomises the water
into tiny droplets, cools the droplets and forces them out through the
nozzle. Johnson tested his device on a night when the air temperature and
humidity were low enough that the droplets would freeze. With a high water
flow rate, he made plenty of wet snow that could be used as a ski-field
base. With a lower flow rate, he made drier snow, an ideal top layer for
skiing.

*	An investigation into fire-resistant wasp nests by nine year old
Luke Shakespeare, a home school student from Stanmore (1st prize in the
multimedia category for K-6 section). Noting that paper wasps build nests in
exposed places, Shakespeare decided to investigate the strength of these
nests and how well they withstand fire. Using abandoned nests, he showed
that they can hold 20 times their own weight, even with only paper-thin
walls between their hexagonal cells, and that they can withstand
temperatures up to 175ºC. His research suggests we could learn from the
paper wasp more about coping with bushfire.

*	A study into the impact of the Salvinia molesta weed in Lake
Parramatta by 14 year olds Wesley Tan and Simon Kim of Redeemer Baptist
School in Castle Hill (1st prize in creative writing category for Junior
secondary section). They investigated the effect of acidity and salinity on
the weed and concluded that increasing either could help eradicate it.
However, as this would affect other life forms in the lake, Tan and Kim
determined that using a dredge to remove the weed would be a better
solution. They composed a letter, report and brochure to draw attention to
the problem and seeking help to redress it.

*	Research into growing fodder at low cost by 12 year old John Clark
of Ben Venue Public School in Armidale (1st prize in the scientific research
category for K-6). With his old mare unhappy on her hay-only diet during the
recent drought, Clark decided to try growing green fodder without a
greenhouse. Clark carried out several trials and modified his approach to
overcome problems. His final method - soaking barley seed, draining and
covering it with hessian, using fertilizer and covering with shade cloth
once the seed sprouts - resulted in appetising pallets of green fodder after
11 days.

Intel Young Scientist is an annual award program that aims to encourage an
interest in science among primary and secondary school students across New
South Wales. The competition has been running since 1991 and this year
attracted over 8000 entries.

The Intel Young Scientist 2003 exhibition is on display at the Powerhouse
Museum until 25 November 2003. After display at the Powerhouse Museum, the
exhibition will begin a 10-month tour of regional New South Wales from
December 2003.

-Ends-

Organised by the Science Teachers' Association of New South Wales.
Sponsored by Intel ® , Powerhouse Museum and NSW Department of Education and
Training.

Media Information, images and interviews:
Hayley Gallant, Marketing & Media Officer, Powerhouse Museum
Tel: 02 9217 0157, Mob: 0413 985 277 or Email: hayleyg at phm.gov.au




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