Computer Science

Earth Science







Social Science




Sign-up for FTK Bulletin

Earth Science

Girls Changing Science

COLLEGE PARK, MD (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Think of a stereotypical scientist and the first thing that comes to mind is an old man with fuzzy white hair and a lab coat. But what if I told you that's all wrong and that age is just a number in the world of science?

You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player. Click here to download and install it.

Claire Dworsky is a typical 9-year-old, but what she found out on the soccer field is making history.

"I like testing out things and finding out the truth," Claire Dworsky, a kid scientist, told Ivanhoe.

Claire was the youngest scientist presenting her research at the "American Geophysical Union" meeting. She scored an invite after a startling discovery in her hometown soccer field.

"When I looked down, the ground was murky, so I wanted to test it out with science and I went on a kids science challenge," Claire said.

Claire was curious about the difference in the quality of water running through turf versus natural grass. With the help of earth scientist and Oceanographer, Adina Paytan, Claire launched the largest study of its kind. She found the chemicals in the runoff water of both fields, sometimes exceeded recommended levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Mostly I was impressed with the fact that the project stemmed from her own observation, from her own encounter with the surroundings," Adina Paytan, an Oceanographer at UC Santa Cruz, in California, said.

"You shouldn't put the grass or the turf near water because it can cause ultrafication, which is when it causes a dead zone and it can kill aquatic life," Clare said.

Another stand out is fourth grader Olivia Smith-Donovan.

"My mom made me keep a journal of any ideas I had," Olivia said.

Such an idea landed Olivia first place at the 2010 Kid's Science Challenge for Bio-inspired design. She's helping to create a model big enough to be used to drop emergency packages from great heights. She was inspired by maple tree seeds, which twirl around as they fall to the ground. She teamed up with Engineers at the University of Maryland to create a prototype.

"We had no idea that a paper tree was actually going to stick to the original plan and spin, but we were all kind of surprised when it actually worked," Olivia said.

Olivia and Claire are just two of the young, great minds shaping the world today, one idea, one challenge, and many possibilities. For Claire's mom, it's just that simple.

"Take a couple of minutes and dinner will wait, it's important to indulge their curiosity," Deana Hodgin, Claire's mother, said.

The National Kids Science Challenge is a nationwide annual competition for third to sixth graders. The winner gets to pair up with a scientist and see their ideas come alive. For more information on how to be part of this experience you can visit

The American Geophysical contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Adina Paytan
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California, Santa Cruz

This Month's TV Reports
Cure for Vision Loss

A new eye treatment could save the vision for thousands of people who are going blind or have already lost most of their ability to see


Saving Lives: Detecting Lung Cancer Faster

Each year, more people die from lung cancer than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. A new test is now able to detect what doctors can’t even see and get patients treated much faster than ever before


Make Every Breath Count: New Test for Cystic Fiborsis

It’s one of medicine’s biggest challenges—finding new treatments and a cure for cystic fibrosis. A simple new test may help patients get the treatment they need, when they need it


Veggies in Space

Could there be life on other planets? To find out, we’re going to have to live in space—but how do you do that if there’s no food? Researchers have found a way to grow tomatoes and other vegetables that defy gravity


Stopping Salmonella in Space

Each year thousands of people get sick from tainted tomatoes and bad peanut butter. Now, astronauts are working to find ways to stop salmonella once and for all.


Paraylzed Players—Log Rolls Vs Lifting?

The second leading cause of all spinal cord injuries happens while teens and young adults are playing sports. But first responders may be putting these athletes at risk just by trying to help them


New Approach to Acl Repair

More than 95,000 people experience an ACL rip or tear while hitting the playing field, baseball diamond or tennis court. More than 30 percent of all repairs fail. Now doctors know why and have found a better way to get people back on their feet.


'Brain Suites' Replacing Operating Rooms

Each year twenty million Americans undergo a surgery. Check out one of four state of the art operating rooms that will change the way all surgeons operate.


Lasers Defying Gravity

A powerful laser can transform metals and pull liquids ‘uphill’. This new technology could change the way blood is drawn.


Robots Reading Autistic Kids’ Minds

Every twenty minutes a child in the US is diagnosed with Autism. A new therapy combines jump shots – robots—and a careful eye to help these kids live a better life.


Girls Changing Science

Not all scientists are PhD’s, old and grey. Two young girls are showing us what they’re made of and they’re helping change science along the way


Geology Rocks!

His students call him the ‘singing professor’. You have got to hear how this teacher is getting kids involved and interested in his class


Prior Reports
A joint production of Ivanhoe Broadcast News and the American Institute of Physics.
  Ivanhoe Broadcast News
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 19740-3843
(301) 209-3100
  P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802
  © 2011 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.