Well, buddy Bobby has already figured out that I'm a sucker for a story about students and sustainability. This morning, he forwarded this article from MaineToday.com about two high school seniors at Cumberland, Maine's Greely High School who have discovered a strain of algae that works really well for producing biodiesel:
In a nutshell, [Holly Jacobson and Tessa Churchill] may have found a way to produce more biodiesel fuel while consuming fewer organic resources.Now, this isn't just your average high school science fair -- these young ladies had to write a scientific paper describing the project and its results to get to the semi-final round. Should they win this regional competition, they're off to New York City for all the marbles and a $100,000 scholarship. According to Jim Whaley, president of the Siemen's Foundation, "A lot of these kids are doing work at a Ph.D level."
The project got its start two years ago when Jacobson and Churchill began examining natural oils stored in fatty acids -- called lipids -- in various forms of marine algae. Recently, they identified a strain of algae that produces more oil for a given mass.
They are at MIT to present their findings to a panel of university judges, who will weigh their project against those of three other teams in the regional finals of the sixth annual Siemens Math, Science & Technology competition.
The event is sponsored each year by The College Board and is funded by the Siemens Foundation as a way to give students a chance to achieve national recognition for science research projects.
Very impressive -- I wish these young women the best! Even if they don't win, they've done some very impressive work in a very hot field (but I'll bet they really want to win). Congratulations!
Categories: biodiesel, algae, students, competition, siemens, mit, maine, us