Alaskan Students Shine with Award-winning Ocean Science Fair Projects
| Marilyn Sigman, Alaska SeaGrant/MAP
Tags: Ocean and Climate Literacy, Culturally-relevant Science Education
COSEE Alaska’s judges at the March, 2010, Alaska State Science and Engineering Fair were faced with a difficult task – to select award winners from among more than 50 projects. The judges included both elders and scientists who selected projects to judge for COSEE awards because they addressed a scientific problem and were also relevant to local culture or the coastal community.
A project from Barrow, Alaska, which questioned whether it was colder or warmer inside empty apuyat (ice houses) vied with a “Silent Killer” project from Anchorage about whether or not ponds created to filter silt from highway runoff were functioning properly. Two girls from Unalaska, far out the Aleutian Chain, participated by Skype in a cyberfair.
At the Awards Ceremony the next day, COSEE Alaska gave out $675 to 12 students at the elementary, middle school, and high school level, including the cyberfair participants. The first place award for a high school project went to Philip Sittichinli from Barrow who posed the question about the effect of a warming climate on bacterial growth on muktuk (whale blubber) in siqluaq (ice cellars) traditionally dug down to permafrost. More