Science in Action

Students Honored at Marin County Science Fair

by Doug Wick and Kathy Soave

Congratulations to Adriana Golden and Audrey Dickinson whose science abstracts earned them each prizes at the Marin County Secondary Science Fair. Volunteer judges in the scientific, medical, or educational fields considered 79 student projects. 

Department Chair Kathy Soave says, "Science fairs are not simply a competition, but a science celebration that recognize projects completed by our community's bright and curious young minds."

Audrey took Third Place in Life Sciences for her work:

The Effects of Active Physical and Chemical Sunscreen Filters (Zinc Oxide, Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Benzophenone-4, and Homosalate) on E. coli (an Acne Bacterium Proxy) Growth Inhibition. 

Adriana won the Grand Prize in Life Sciences for her work:

The Effects of Gastric Mucous with Chemically Raised pHs on Lumen Model Mass Retention After Acid Exposure. 

Adriana has been invited to go on and present her project at the next stage, the Golden Gate STEM fair. This event will start on March 19th, and it is possible her project will go on to even higher levels of competition and be eligible for further recognition. 

Congratulations to Adriana and Audrey.

Peter Zdrojewski was featured in a Wells Fargo Stories article about the We Share Solar teacher training workshop in which he participated this summer. In a recent BULLetin, we showed how our Environmental Science students have, through this program, built and sent two solar suitcases to provide power to students at a school in Kenya. With an average lifespan of 10 years, these solar suitcases will light a classroom for 5 hours a night, providing positive change in the lives of over 400 students! 

We Share Solar Suitcases Built for Kenyan School
  • Environmental Action

by Peter Zdrojewski

My Advanced Environmental Science class finished building two stand-alone solar systems. Partnering with Berkeley’s We Share Solar, the student-built solar suitcases are now on their way to a school in rural Kenya. With most of Kenya’s population living in rural areas, 64% do not have access to electricity, resulting in a costly reliance on indoor air polluting kerosene lamps. With an average lifespan of 10 years, these solar suitcases will light a classroom for 5 hours a night, providing positive change in the lives of over 400 students! Stay tuned for more information as we wait to hear back from the students in Kenya.

We Share Solar, Too!

With training from We Share Solar (WSS), Science Teacher Peter Zdojewski says, “I can now lead students in building a portable photovoltaic lighting system known as a We Share Solar Suitcasea 12-volt DC stand-alone, fully operational solar system. As students build, they learn about global energy poverty, basic electricity, solar energy, and engineering. When applicable and financially supported, students can deploy their built suitcase to a school or community center in an energy-poor region of the world.”

WSS works with partners in Kenya, Uganda, and the Philippines to select energy poor schools and community centers as placement sites. The partners conduct solar installations and provide training to suitcase users. Once installed, the partners share stories and photos from beneficiaries with the student builders so that students can see the full impact of their work. 

Marine Bio Class
  • Field Trips

After visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium last Wednesday, October 25, Branson’s Marine Biology classes went for a snorkel with the sea lions and jellies in Monterey Bay!

  • marine biology

Science Chair Kathy Soave took Sustainable Seas leaders to present their research poster at the 2016 American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco--an incredible opportunity. The AGU calls the event, which drew about 24,000 attendees in 2015, "The largest Earth and space science meeting in the world." Our young scientists showcased their work among literally thousands of other distinguished scientists from around the globe.



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