NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Projects ranging from study of "superlearning" to experiments with the effectiveness of cough drops have won awards for handful of junior-high students who entered area science fairs coordinated with JPL.

Several of the students, enrolled at Altadena's Charles W. Eliot Middle School, now advance to the Los Angeles County Science Engineering Fair in May.

The round of science fairs began with Eliot's own schoolwide science fair, staged in April at JPL. Eliot is the Laboratory's "Adopt-A-School" under JPL program sponsoring educational activities for local students.

More than 70 JPL scientists and engineers judged the Eliot fair, which drew more than 160 experiments from sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

JPL employees also assisted in judging the district- wide Pasadena Unified School District science fair, in which several Eliot students won awards. Laboratory personnel in addition served as judges for the local Robert A. Millikan Region Science and Engineering Fair, an independent event affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair program.

The key to project's success, judges agreed, was evidence of the student asking "scientifically interesting" question and then designing and carrying out well- structured experiment to test it.

"We've received great feedback from the parents, who were pleased JPL employees were able to spend this time with their children," said Kimberly Lievense of JPL's Public Education Office.

"Many of the students," Lievense added, "seem to have benefited by being exposed to the working methods of professional scientist or engineer."

Eliot students who won awards were: Eighth Grade

Matt Schwartz, "Which Areas of the Los Angeles Basin Have Chemical and Bacterial Pollutants in Their Water Supplies?" First place, Eliot fair; first place, planetary, Pasadena Unified fair; first place, environmental sciences, Millikan fair.

Thad Kousser, "What Effect Does Temperature Have on the Conductivity of Conductor?" Second place, Eliot; first place, physics, Pasadena Unified.

Darryl Stephens, "What Type of Growing Medium Promotes the Most Root Growth?" Third place, Eliot.

Keith Drouet, "How is Naturally Curly Hair Genetically Inherited?" Fourth place, Eliot; first place, medicine, Pasadena Unified.

Vladimir Rico Yovanovich, "Do the Mercalli Scale Readings Vary with Age and Gender?" Fifth place, Eliot; third place, animal, Pasadena Unified.

Sarah Kimball, "Which Colors are Hippodamia Convergens Attracted To?" Sixth place, Eliot; first place, zoology, Millikan.

Rolf Hains, "The Cumulative Effects of Smoke." Seventh place, Eliot.

Heather Robinson, "Structural Safety." Eighth place, Eliot.

Elaine Nelson, "What Are the Effects of Music on Human Temperature?" Ninth place, Eliot (tie).

Jeffrey Reid, "How is Solar Energy Produced?" Ninth place, Eliot (tie).

Lisa Dawe, "Which Materials Absorb Shock the Best." First place, physics, Millikan.

Juliette E. Miller, "Pets and Health." First place, medicine and health, Millikan.

Claire L. Smith, "Does the Type of Fertilizer Affect the Growth of Plants?" Second place, biochemistry/ botany, Millikan.

Michelle L. Reese, "Are Organic Materials Viable Energy Source?" Third place, biochemistry, Millikan. Seventh Grade

Alison Giffen, "Do Pesticides Pollute Our Water?" First place, Eliot; first place, chemistry, Pasadena Unified.

Melinda Wood, "Smoking and Heart." Second place, Eliot; fourth place, medicine, Pasadena Unified.

Eva Rubin, "Is Superlearning Possibility?" Third place, Eliot; second place, animal, Pasadena Unified.

Nia Harris, "Ozone Pollution." Fourth place, Eliot; third place, planetary, Pasadena Unified.

Jeff Flach, "Do Sunspots Affect Shortwave Radio Waves?" Fifth place, Eliot; third place, physics, Pasadena Unified.

Violette Buck, "Three Native California Plants and the Use of Soil Conditioning." Sixth place, Eliot (tie).

Annik Doree Bogharian, "How High are the Levels of Vitamin in Fruit Juice?" Sixth place, Eliot (tie).

Kevin Reagan, "Glassmaking." Seventh place, Eliot.

Jill Poremba, "What Three Things Make Plant Grow Best?" Eighth place, Eliot.

Ken Berry, "How Effective are Different Cough Drops in Fighting Bacteria?" Ninth place, Eliot.

Sarah M. Hartman, "How Do Acidic Liquids Affect the Pitch of the Oboe?" First place, chemistry/physics, Millikan. Sixth Grade

Jim Hafner, "Do Lady Bird Beetles Have the Same Number of Spots?" First place, Eliot.

Jennifer Meier, "How Do the Internal and External Anatomy of the Perch, Frog and Rat Differ?" Second place, Eliot.

David Turner, "Sensory Perception." Third place, Eliot.

Amanda Martinez, "Can Houseflies Live on Sugar and Water Alone?" Fourth place, Eliot.

Brooke Damiano, "Are Mus Musculus Junk-Food Junkies?" Fifth place, Eliot.

Richard Moon, "Does Ultraviolet Light Affect Plant Life?" Sixth place, Eliot.

Nathan Elkins, "How Can One Determine Whether an Object Contains Gold and How Much Gold?" Seventh place, Eliot.

News Media Contact