Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Alaska
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Inupiaq Region Students Win Ocean Science Fair Awards - 04.18.2011

More than 40 Alaskan students participated in COSEE’s third annual ocean science fair, a “fair within a fair” at the Alaska Science & Engineering Fair in Anchorage on the weekend of March 19-20. The unique aspect of the ocean science fair was the requirement that the project focus on the ocean, watersheds, or climate climate change and the judging that took place on both scientific and cultural or community aspects of the project. Alaska Senator Begich presented the COSEE Alaska and other special science fair awards.

Students from the Inupiaq Region in Northwest Alaska took some of the top COSEE awards after the UAF Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, a COSEE Alaska partner, provided support to teachers for local and district-level ocean science fairs. Ray Barnhardt, the Center’s Director and COSEE P.I., provided support to Emily Roseberry in the North Slope Borough School District. Barrow student Molly Adams won the middle school cultural award with a project on bowhead whales and Jadyn Edwardsen tied for the high school cultural award with her project “How Does the Preparation of Sinew Affect its Strength?” Sean Topkok, a student in the new UAF Indigenous Studies PhD program, provided support to Robbie Everett in the Northwest Arctic School District where Kotzebue students China Kantner and Ember Eck won high school science and cultural awards for their project “The Big Empty,” which was a study of a drained lake basin caused by the melting of permafrost and the impact of the change on their community in terms of a water source and habitat for fish and wildlife harvested for subsistence.

Other winners in the COSEE science category included Ben and Nicolas Post, Turnagin Elementary School, Anchorage, for “What Boat Design Can Carry the Heaviest Load?”, Christian Escalante and Sierra Moskios, Unalaska Middle School, Unalaska, for ”Waving, Rotating, Creating”, and Molly Volk, Paige Olson, and Courtney Bird, Petersburg High School, Petersburg for “Genetic Differentiation of Cancer magister.” Naasha Tallman, a Dene Navajo student in the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School in Anchorage, won an elementary cultural award for her project ” Does Water Exist on Other Planets in Our Solar System?” She first wrote the text for her display in the Dene language.

The students won Alaska Sea Grant books and posters. In addition, the high school award winners will receive travel support to attend and present their projects at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage next January.

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