Science Buddies and Astellas USA Foundation Announce Chemistry Contest to Inspire Young Female Scientists
CARMEL, Calif. and DEERFIELD, Ill., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Science Buddies and Astellas USA Foundation (“Foundation”) announced initiation of the Science Buddies-Astellas Rosalind Franklin Chemistry Contest. The contest, open to U. S. students in grades 6-12, will recognize top chemistry projects being conducted by middle and high school students–the scientists of tomorrow.
“For the Foundation, science is not only the core of our business, it’s our passion. We are dedicated to playing an active role in science education, and the Science Buddies–Astellas Rosalind Franklin Chemistry Contest builds on that commitment,” said Collette Taylor, president of the Astellas USA Foundation. “The future of scientific innovation in health and medicine resides in our youth, and we have very high expectations for the contest entries, which will no doubt be met.”
While the contest is open to male and female students, the companies selected Rosalind Elsie Franklin as a figurehead for the contest to support their joint interest in encouraging young female scientists to pursue career paths in chemistry and to increase public awareness of an important female scientist. Franklin’s research using x-ray diffraction helped lead to the identification of the structure of DNA.
“When you look back at the last century of science history, one of the biggest discoveries was that DNA has a double helix shape. This discovery, which opened up the fields of biochemistry and genetics, relied on the immaculate data collected by a scientist named Rosalind Franklin,” notes Sandra Slutz, Lead Staff Scientist at Science Buddies. “Unfortunately, in the 1950′s, female scientists had a hard work environment to deal with, and Franklin didn’t receive the credit due her. We’ve selected Rosalind Franklin as a figurehead for our chemistry contest not only because she was integral to one of the most important modern scientific discoveries, but as a reminder that if science doesn’t embrace everyone’s right to explore and participate, we’re sure to miss some brilliant discoveries!”
Open to U.S. Middle and High School Students
The 2012 Rosalind Franklin Chemistry Contest is open to both female and male U.S. students in grades 6-12. Students can enter either an original science project in the field of chemistry or a project based on a Science Buddies Chemistry Project Idea. The student submissions will be judged on creativity, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill, and clarity of presentation.
“I’m excited to see what the students are going to submit for their chemistry projects,” says Slutz, noting that while chemistry is one of the oldest branches of scientific enquiry, it is full of potential for student observation and exploration.
“There are so many possibilities for student chemistry projects ranging from things that may help save our environment, like new fuels and biodegradable packaging, to fun products like silly putty, perfume, and makeup,” adds Slutz. “Hopefully each student will walk away with a better understanding of how chemistry and the products it enables shape our everyday lives.”
Among other requirements, students must complete a project display board describing their project. Documentation of the display board must be submitted with the entry. Contest rules and regulations are based on the official rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Complete details are available at the Science Buddies web site: http://bit.ly/ScienceBuddiesAstellasContest.
Winners to Receive Cash Prizes
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top students in grades 9-12 and in grades 6-8. Both a male and female winner will be selected in each grade range. To be considered, entries must be submitted on or before 7PM Pacific Standard Time (PST), April 1, 2012. Science Buddies and Astellas will announce the winners in May of 2012. For additional information about prizes and judging, please visit http://bit.ly/ScienceBuddiesAstellasContest.
About Science Buddies
Science Buddies, a 501c3 public charity, is the leading award-winning non-profit science fair “how-to” resource for K-12 students, teachers, and parents. With scientist-authored educational content covering 30 fields of science and engineering and a website created and run by scientists and engineers, Science Buddies supports serious scientific inquiry by providing tools for project selection, as well as step-by-step instruction and support from scientists and experts on setting up, managing, and monitoring a project and recording the results. Science Buddies helps students learn more, get support, save time and get inspired. For more information about Science Buddies, visit http://www.sciencebuddies.org
About Astellas USA Foundation
The Astellas USA Foundation is a private Foundation that awards cash grants to support philanthropic initiatives that are aligned with Astellas’ business strategy. Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. For more information about Astellas USA Foundation, please visit the foundation’s website at http://www.astellasusafoundation.org.
SOURCE Astellas USA Foundation