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Bayer/NSF Awards Encourage Science-in-Action

July/August 1998

The winners of this year's Bayer/NSF Awards for Community Innovation, a national competition designed for middle-school-age students, were announced in June. This award program is a unique effort that encourages schoolchildren to nurture their problem-solving and scientific skills and to apply those skills to solving a particular problem in their own local communities.

The first place prize went to the Las Vegas, Nevada, team, for their proposed "Back Belt," a safety harness to clamp onto swings, thus preventing injuries resulting from falling backward. The second place project, submitted by the Cold Spring Harbor, New York, team, involves educating students about the proper use of backpacks to avoid injuries. The third place team, from Atlanta, Georgia, will create a computer tracking system to make academic records accessible to schools attended by homeless and transient students. In addition to savings bonds awards for all three teams, the Atlanta team received a grand prize of $25,000 to implement their community project.

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