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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

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Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

nateandrews93



Registered: March 2011
City/Town/Province: Warwick
Posts: 1
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Nathan Andrews
Science - What a Rush!
I yearn to develop into a more erudite, sophisticated, and scholarly individual and scientist as I journey through my unpredictable, yet hypothesized lifetime. My friends, and even some teachers, coaches, and sometimes even my own parents call me “Stein.” It is an affectionate epithet which suits me well, for it is derived from two nicknames that have become synonymous with my persona during my past four years at Bishop Hendricken High School, one being Frankenstein – after my strength, stiffness, good posture, and tendency to sometimes mumble; and the second being Einstein – after my numerous achievements in the Science Fair and my genuine love and knowledge of Biology and other sciences. I love my epithet, embrace it, and use it as motivation to live up to my identity as “Stein- the Scientist,” “Stein - the Athlete,” “Stein - the Musician,” “Stein - the Overachiever,” and “Stein - the Guy who everyone loves to be around.” I am all “Stein,” all Nathan Andrews, and all scholar. My science fair project is the work of “Stein” and it defines me as a scientist as my nickname does as a person.
My research project is titled: “Does T.F. Green Airport's De-Icing Affect Water Quality?” This research project deals with point source of watershed contamination to Buckeye Brook and Warwick Pond in Warwick, RI which is adjacent to T.F. Green Airport. The main factors concerning this project are the affects of discharged storm water contaminated with propylene glycol, a de-icing agent used on planes in the winter, on the watershed. The elements that were tested for were propylene glycol, dissolved oxygen, iron, pH, and a survey of bacteria, all for water quality and watershed delineations. After many tests over the course of a year, I compared the upper watershed to the lower watershed and found that the airport had a dreadfully negative affect on the watershed. The amount of glycol detected in Buckeye Brook on Lakeshore Drive and Buckeye Brook on Warwick Avenue in both the sediment and the water was 15ppm. To put that into perspective: it is enough propylene glycol in every gallon of water in these sections of the brook to kill a small dog, with thousands of gallons flowing through the brook every day, the amount of propylene glycol in the brook is inconceivable and also saddens me to think about those affected by this, especial the buckeyes (the local fish – blue-back herring), and people who use that same water-system for recreation. Nuisance bacterial growths cause low dissolved oxygen levels in the water. The two types of nuisance bacteria are Leptothrix (an iron oxidizing bacterium) and Sphaerotilus (a chemo-synthetic bacterium). Both, in large concentrations are detrimental to the environment, and both populations are fed by the unnatural chemical in their environment, propylene glycol.
I was awarded first grant and placed in the top ten in the Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair (RISEF) 2010, earning “Best in Fair”. From there, I took first place out of 427 projects. I won more than half of all available, over twenty total. Just to name a few, I received some scholarship money to the University of Rhode Island, savings bonds from the EPA, Army, and Navy, and the Governor’s Award, not to mention representing Rhode Island in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in San Jose, California, paid for by the RISEF. I was one of 1,700 students from around the world competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Forty-eight of the United States and Fifty-eight countries participate in this competition annually, only a select few of these students are chosen from millions competing around the world. I was one of them. After hours upon hours of being judged, which I enjoyed every minute of, I placed fourth in my category of Environmental Science. At the second award ceremony, I won the Saudi Arabian Award for my studies of watersheds and efforts in water quality. I was honored to shake hands with two of King Abdul Aziz’s representatives. I placed in the top one percent of all projects in the world that competed. I was at the epicenter of where “worlds collide”, meeting students from China, Australia, India, Japan, Russia, almost every American state, Slovakia, Brazil, Pakistan, Israel, and many more, all at peace and enjoying each other’s existence and scientific scholarship. It was the greatest experience of my life and I would not trade it for any other! This project has brought me a phenomenal amount of fame, glory, and accreditation in the scientific community.
Right now, my life is pointing in the direction of the sciences, and I am enjoying and benefiting from every scientific second of every calculated calendar day. From this project, I learned two life lessons: we must all be stewards of the environment, and dilution is not the solution to pollution! I have worked for my community and helped to fight these environmental and social injustices! I did this project not because a teacher told me to, not because it was a requirement, but because I was standing up for my community, providing evidence for the Airport’s pollution of the local Warwick and Buckeye Brook Watershed, resolving social and environmental injustices, and because I love science and felt I should use my skills that my community gave me through my schooling to help my community in return.
My research paper and its results are the driving forces that compel me to continue my studies. Science – what a rush! There is one quote that I hold near and dear to my heart, which I believe is the driving force that compels me to go above and beyond. It is by the great Albert Einstein who said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity!”
Date: March 21, 2011 Views: 5646 File size: 18.3kb : 186 x 140
Hours Volunteered: 355
Volunteers: 3
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 40 to 50
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 1400
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