The contest called for student teams from high schools throughout the Midwest to design and build a prototype educational exhibit that demonstrated the scientific principles of synchrotron x-ray science. These principles are the foundation of the forefront research carried out by scientists using the APS for experimentation in many disciplines, including materials science, chemistry, biology, physics, environmental science, planetary science, geology, and nanoscience.
Third place in the contest went to Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, IL. A special honorable mention was given to a team from West Leyden High School, West Leyden, IL. All finalist teams attended a presentation ceremony and dinner held recently in the APS auditorium to honor the winning teams.
Other schools participating in the contest were: Morris Community High School, Morris, IL, and West Chicago Community High School, West Chicago, IL.
The teams were required to design exhibits that highlighted one of these themes:
- What is diffraction?
- What is x-ray brightness?
- Scientific uses of x-rays.
- Making x-rays with an accelerator.
- How does the APS accelerator work?
- Studying materials with the APS.
- Using the APS as a research tool.
"The teams competing in this first-ever event submitted an impressive collection of prototype exhibits, making our judges' job both delightful and agonizing at the same time," said Fred Hartline of Argonne's Division of Educational Programs. "It was tough to choose just three of these incredible projects for the highest honors."
Several organizations donated awards and materials for the contest. Pasco Scientific donated a temperature lab for each of the three top teams' schools. American Science and Surplus donated two $75 and one $25 gift certificates for the top teams' schools. Vernier donated two $75 and one $25 gift certificates for the top teams' schools. The Kendry Company donated materials, provided others at cost, and waived delivery charges. iMedia donated one copy of the CD "Synchrotron Light" and one "Nanpolis" CD for each finalist school.