The contest asked elementary and middle-school students from across Kentucky to answer a scientific question and make their stories into videos. The event, which the center will launch again early next year, aims to foster science literacy.
Joanna Hass is the Science Center’s executive director.
“This initiative speaks volumes to what can be done to capture students’ interests, to pull them in through the use of contemporary means — technology — to challenge them to hypothesize, to investigate and to communicate even in some ways that might seem silly, on the outset, to us,” Haas says.
Katherine Speece, a sixth grader at Christian Academy of Louisville, won a grand prize for her entry about indoor air pollution in her smelly bedroom.
“We did some research on what kind of plants clean what types of pollutions and we went to the plant store and picked up the plants I needed,” Speece says. “Then we waited five to seven days for the results and it really worked.”
Another finalist was Emily Schmitt, an eighth grader at Louisville’s St. Margaret Mary School, who was curious about a scene in a Hollywood action film.
“We were watching ‘National Treasure’ and Nicholas Cage had the torch and he was, like, moving the cobwebs with it,” Schmitt says. “So I wondered if cobwebs would burn if you actually did that. So, we decided to test it.”
Entries were judged on scientific merit, creativity and the ability to communicate ideas. AT&T gave more than $150,000 for this year’s contest.