Capital Region Youths Vie for Upstate New York Junior Science Prize
Contact: Vincent Reda, 518-437-4985
Four Capital Region students from Academy of Holy Names, Saratoga Springs,
Hoosic Valley and Hoosick Falls high schools will be among 30 outstanding
young scholars from 13 New York counties presenting their experimental
research in the annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities
Symposium (JSHS) Thursday and Friday, March 29-30, at the Turf Inn on
Wolf Road, Colonie.
The New York JSHS event is sponsored this year, as it has since 1986,
by UAlbany's Department of Biological Sciences and the U.S. Departments
of Army, Navy and Air Force, through grants administered by the Academy
of Applied Science.
Each of the 30 students will be competing on Thursday from 2:30 to
4:30 p.m. in one of five "speaker categories:" (1) Computer Science,
Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Science; (2) Biology I: Cellular/Subcellular;
(3) Behavioral Science, Psychology; (4) Botany, Ecology, Environmental
Science; and (5) Biology II: Tissues/Organisms.
The winners of those categories will then repeat their presentations
Friday from 8:30 - 9:45 a.m. in competition for a grand prize of $4,000
and the opportunity to present at the National JSHS in Orlando, Fla.,
April 25-29. National scholarships of $16,000, $8,000 and $2,000 for
1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded at that event.
Archer Batcheller from Hoosick Falls Central School will compete in
the computer science, engineering, mathematics and physical science
category; Erin Etoll of the Academy of Holy Names (Albany) in the Biology
I: Cellular/Subcellular category; Jeffrey Valla of Saratoga Springs
High School in the Botany, Ecology, Environmental Science category;
and Alicia Dowd of Hoosic Valley High School in the Biology II: Tissues/Organisms
More than 600 students and teachers from 68 schools are expected to
attend the Upstate JSHS, which will also include competition among 30
additional high schoolers in a professional scientific poster session,
from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
After the final competition on Friday, conference participants will
tour lab facilities on the UAlbany Uptown and East campuses, including
the Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, Center for Materials
Research, Institute for Materials, Center for Technology in Government,
Linear Accelerator Lab, and X-Ray Optic Lab. They will also meet UAlbany
science faculty and hear them discuss their current research.
Guest speaker at the event is Dr. Jill Tartar from the Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, Calif. Her talk, at
7:30 p.m. on Thursday, is "SETI 2020: A Roadmap for Future SETI Observing
Projects." Dr. Tartar received her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University
of California at Berkeley and is the recipient of many scientific awards.
Tartar is co-founder of the SETI Institute, whose purpose is to conduct
scientific research and educational projects relevant to the nature,
prevalence, and distribution of life in the Universe. She is also director
of the Institute's Project Phoenix, which involves a high-resolution
microwave search for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.
Since its inception in 1958, the primary aims of JSHS are to promote
research and experimentation at the secondary school level and to recognize
students for original research achievements. In 1986, UAlbany biologist
and then dean of Mathematics and Science Daniel Wulff founded the Upstate
New York JSHS in order to provide a forum for New York students from
counties north of New York City. Last spring, when nearly 600 students
participated in the JSHS, 125 asked to present their research, but only
30 could be afforded the opportunity.
For that reason, in 2000 Wulff successfully pursued a $380,000 five-year
grant from the Charitable Venture Foundation. Beginning next year, these
funds will create mini-symposia in the Capital, Westchester, and Syracuse
regions that will accommodate approximately 125 high school research
For further information, contact Blanche Feck of the UAlbany Department
of Biological Sciences, at 518-442-4337.
For more University at Albany information, visit our World Wide Web
site at http://www.Albany.edu.
March 22, 2001
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