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Volume 89 Issue 19 | Web Exclusive
Issue Date: May 9, 2011

NOBCChE's 2011 Science Bowl And Fair

Middle and high school students from Michigan dominate competitions at this year's meeting
Department: Science & Technology, Education
Keywords: NOBCChE, black chemists, science bowl
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Leah Hampton from the Imani School, in Houston, with her NOBCChE 2011 science fair project, "Revenge of the Toilet Seat."
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Leah Hampton from the Imani School, in Houston, with her NOBCChE 2011 science fair project, "Revenge of the Toilet Seat."
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Jonathan Lord from the Imani School, in Houston, won the junior division's Award for Originality in Research with his science fair project titled "Dirty Pop, Clean Top."
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Jonathan Lord from the Imani School, in Houston, won the junior division's Award for Originality in Research with his science fair project titled "Dirty Pop, Clean Top."
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Some students chat with judges while others wait patiently for their turn at the 2011 NOBCChE Science Fair.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Some students chat with judges while others wait patiently for their turn at the 2011 NOBCChE Science Fair.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Team SASA Nation, from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, in Michigan, won the junior division science bowl at this year's NOBCChE meeting.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Team SASA Nation, from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, in Michigan, won the junior division science bowl at this year's NOBCChE meeting.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Judges Paula Christopher (from left), a membership associate in ACS's Diversity Programs department; Bonnie Charpentier, chair of ACS's Board of Directors; and Robert Gooden, a chemistry professor at Southern University, in Shreveport, La., deliberate at the NOBCChE 2011 Science Bowl senior division finals.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Judges Paula Christopher (from left), a membership associate in ACS's Diversity Programs department; Bonnie Charpentier, chair of ACS's Board of Directors; and Robert Gooden, a chemistry professor at Southern University, in Shreveport, La., deliberate at the NOBCChE 2011 Science Bowl senior division finals.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Team SASA Dragons, from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, in Michigan, took first place in the senior division science bowl at this year's NOBCChE meeting.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
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Team SASA Dragons, from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, in Michigan, took first place in the senior division science bowl at this year's NOBCChE meeting.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN
Team SASA Dragons, from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, in Michigan, faces off against Team Timbuktu Obama, from Timbuktu Academy, in Baton Rouge, La., during the science bowl senior division finals.
Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN

When the grade-schoolers arrived in Houston for the 38th annual meeting of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) to compete in a science bowl and fair, their presence was noticeable. In the lobby of the Hilton-Americas Hotel, where the conference was being held, bellhop carts sat, loaded with snack packs and juice boxes. Laughter and the low hum of excited chatter filled the halls and common areas of the conference site.

Having carefully prepared their science fair projects and crammed to learn the answers to science quiz questions, 127 middle and high school students, some of whom traveled from as far away as New York, were ready to face off.

NOBCChE holds these annual competitions, which this year were sponsored by the American Chemical Society, at its national meeting to encourage youngsters to get interested in science—particularly chemistry—and to become involved with the organization. The science bowl is a round-robin event during which teams of four players answer trivia questions about famous African American scientists and about biology, chemistry, and the other sciences. The science fair gives grade-schoolers an opportunity to present the results of an independent experiment they've conducted.

Following is a list of some of this year's winners:

Science Bowl

First place, junior division (grades 6–8):

Team SASA Nation from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Michigan: Wahaj Ansari, Afua Ofori-Darko, Kofi Ofori-Darko, Varun Shankar, and John Smith.

Second place, junior division:

Team White Pine from White Pine Middle School, Saginaw, Mich.: Justin Acker, Elyse Adamo, Mitchell Agrwal, Ryan Fattal, and Quentin Mack.

First place, senior division (grades 9–12):

Team SASA Dragons from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Michigan: Dalton Allan, Jordan Drake, Alexandriya Emonds, Kwaku Ofori-Darko, and Bradley Yurgens.

Second place, senior division:

Team Timbuktu Obama from Timbuktu Academy, Baton Rouge, La.: Ikeji Akujobi, Jaylun Brumfield, Shane Griffin, and Kevin Paul II.

Science Fair

First place, junior division (grades 6–8):

Varun Shankar from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Michigan, with a project titled "Is Amoxicillin Your Best Bet for Group-A Strep?"

Second place, junior division:

Afua Ofori-Darko from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Michigan, with a project titled "Do Different Juices Affect the Effectiveness of Antibiotics?"

First place, senior division (grades 9–12):

Nikolas Albarran from City Honors School, Buffalo, with a project titled "Using Chlorella Pyrenoidosa To Create Biodiesel Fuel."

Second place, senior division:

Lydia Mensah from Timbuktu Academy, Baton Rouge, La., with a project titled "Don't Fret: A Project on Standing Waves."

 
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