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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998

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50 - CAPE GAZETI, Friday, April 10 - April 16, 1998 SCHOOL & EDUCATION Science projects propel Cape High students Sophomores sweep Science, Humanities Symposium awards By Rosanne Pack On the surface, sugar cubes, random numbers and sponges seem to have little in common, but the unrelated materials and topics all are factors in bringing honor to Cape Henlopen High School sci- ence students Bryan Ruddy, Jen- nifer Hicks, Ron Bull and Avni Gohel. At the recent Delaware Junior Science and Humanities Sympo- sium, the Cape students were not only honored, they earned the majority of the awards for both oral presentation and poster dis- plays. All sophomore students of Gwynneth Sharp, Hicks and Rud- dy are two of only five who were recognized for superior oral pre- sentation and Bull and Gohel are two of four who earned awards for their poster presentations. The sugar cubes, random num- bers, sponges and some research on visual memory, comparing retention after reading and view- ing material, were topics the stu- dents chose for their projects. Ruddy, the random number guy, also earned additional accolades by being named Most Promising Male Scientist at the symposium. His project on random number generation earned him an hon- orary one-year membership in the Delaware Academy of Science. Hicks prepared a project titled "Sponges and Rags and Milk, Oh, My!" Her research compared cleaning tools, including anti-bac- terial soaps and cleaning materials of different textures to determine which ones harbor bacteria and which are the safest for use in the kitchen. An annual event, the sympo- sium brings aspiring young scien- tists from throughout the state to the University of Delaware for two days of presentation, review and introduction to the campus and science facilities. In addition to the four who earned honors, Cape students Robbie Baker and Mark Moore also displayed their projects at the symposium. Along with the prestige of being chosen among the top five oral presenters at the event, Hicks and Ruddy earned an all-expense-paid trip to Albuquerque for a national student science symposium spo n - sored by the Departnent of the Army, research office. They leave the last week in April to spend four days with 250 other high school science students. Sharp said the state symposium is an excellent learning and shar- ing opportunity for young science students. She said they not only get to spend two days on a univer- sity campus, they spend time with professionals in the field of acade- mic and applied science as well as with other students. "They hear their peers comment on their work, they have real sci- entists edify their work," she said. "They conduct their own research for their projects. "And, of course, I am so proud of our kids." She said that all students who participated in their own schools submitted their projects to the symposium sponsors, and a panel Hommne PINk photo Recently honored at the Delaware Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Cape Hen- lopen High School students (l-r) Ron Bull, Avni Gohel, Bryan Ruddy and Jennifer HielrJ earned recognition, hard cash and even some travel for their research projects. selected the ones that they consid- ered worthy of an oral presenta- tion. She said it is unusual that one school had two of five chosen. Hicks and Ruddy said it was pretty nerve-wracking to think about the 15-minute oral presenta- tion. Once they completed an overview of their work, they opened the floor to questions from the seven judges and audience members. The two might have been ner- vous, but Sharp said that they were very accomplished and smooth in their presentation and response to questions. Science students at Cape chose the poster displays that would rep- resent their school at the state symposium. School winners Bull and Gohel also had to face up to judges when they displayed their posters. Both of them expressed surprise when they learned that their posters were two of the four award winners. Bull said that they seemed to look over his display rather rapidly before moving on. Gohel said she thought that the judges disagreed with her subject, especially since it showed that her test subjects remembered more from seeing a video of "Howard's End" than those who read the book remembered. She said she didn't anticipate those results, and even expected the research to show the opposite. She had 30 subjects read the book, and 30 view the video tape of the movie. Sharp reminded the young sci- entist that society is increasingly visually oriented, and the visual image makes a great impact on the mind's eye. To complete his project on movement during sleep, Bull first had to convince 10 subjects to allow themselves to be video taped while they slept. He chose to study the effects of sugar on fre- quent movement, and his findings Continued on page 51 'Tweenagers' give time and talent and get experience What do you call a person who is old enough to baby-sit but not to 0e employed in a summer job? A "tweenager." Tweenagers are at the top of the middle school hier- archy, and the bottom of the barrel in high school. They exist in that never-never land of changing body, swinging mood shifts and peculiarly fitting clothing. Parents watch helplessly as they transform from child to adult. Sometimes the transformation has rough spots. Viewed from a different angle, what do local organizations call the person who is between 13 and 16 years of age? A precious com- munity resource. Many area orga- nizations would like these youth to spend summertime with them in a volunteer capacity. Like many before them, the tweenager can put all of that energy to good use volunteeringto read to a child, helping_ with the elderly or clean- SCHOOL JOURNAL Diane Albanese ing up a nature trail. With summer coming, it's not too early to call and make the right connections. Volunteer work has a dual effect on youth: tweenagers give their time and talent and get experience in return. They get to learn new skills, and demonstrate responsi- bility in a given area. They gain valuable experience that can be transferred to future endeavors. There is a powerful sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well done. Volunteer posi- tions can give a tweenager the experience they need to feel good about themselves. This is also the beginning of first-hand career experience. Tweenagers may need a gentle push to point them in the right direction. To help them on their journey, I have compiled a list of organizations that encourage vol- unteer help, especially in the sum- mertime. Harbor Health Care would be happy to have volunteer youth read to patients or help them write letters. There is a need for helpers to go on summertime outings with the staff and to assist with patients. Olive Ward is the activity director. An application and orientation is provided for volunteers. Call 645- 4664. Becky McCartey heads up Beebe Hospital's volunteer unit. Students 14 and up are encouraged to volunteer in patient care, trans- port, dell, cafeteria and a wide range of other activities. There is an application with parent approval and a requirement for a TB test. Beebe holds an orienta- tion for volunteers in June, and the actual work runs July through August. Call 645-3531 to receive more information. Church groups or Scouting groups are needed to help provide emergency home repairs to low income families. If building and construction are of interest to you, contact Christine Stillson at the First State Resource Conservation and Development, 302-678-4164. The simple act of reading to a child is of tremendous value. READ-ALOUD Delaware's goal is to help stamp out illiteracy. They gratefully accept the help of youth 14 and up to read to children in area day cares and placements. Students need two references and attend a training session. Call Ann Gorrin at 856-2527. Delaware State Parks has a need for youth to work at trail mainte- nance, plantings, bird monitoring and special events. These volun- teer jobs often turn into part-time employment the following year. Credit can be given toward high school graduation for hours spent volunteering. Call Judi Jeffers at 302-739- 3197. If you are not sure what direc- tion to take, call Glenn Stubolo at Volunteer link, 800-815-5465. Helping others can be the right place to start in helping yourself to valuable career experiences. Diane Saienni Albanese is a parent and an educator in the Cape Henlopen School District and at Delaware Tech.