STEM Scene

by Anika Rajamani and Katherine Zhang



Provided by Siemens Foundation

Research reports for the 2017 Siemens Competition are due on Sept. 19. Reports must be submitted on topics in the following fields: mathematics, engineering, biological and physical sciences. Social and behavioral science research projects are not eligible. Semifinalists will be announced on Oct. 17 and regional finalists will be announced the following day. There will be a Technical Writing workshop on August 31st for people writing papers for the Siemens and Regeneron competitions. 

Human Ecology trip to Alaska

Jin Tuan

Harker’s Human Ecology students spent 10 days in UC Davis, followed by 10 days in Alaska, researching the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and learning about the issue of sustainable farming. Upper school students also travelled to Costa Rica and learned about conservation efforts and the impact of biodiversity.


Permafrost Melting

Wikimedia Commons

Permafrost in Alaska and other areas near the poles is currently melting. Researchers monitoring the melting say that by 2050, the frozen ground could completely thaw.

Permafrost, which consists of frozen plants and other organic matter, stores vast amounts of carbon. The melting will worsen the impacts of climate change by releasing this carbon into the air.

As the organic matter thaws, the carbon will be converted to methane and carbon dioxide.. Researchers are currently monitoring the situation to see if there is a way to slow or stop the thawing.

Hurricane Harvey

Wikimedia Commons

Hurricane Harvey, which began as a tropical storm and strengthened into a hurricane over the last week, has passed over multiple cities in Texas, including Houston, where parts of the city have received over 30 inches of rainfall.

Scientists attribute the unprecedented magnitude of the hurricane to several factors, such as the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and a lack of wind in the upper atmosphere.

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on September 6, 2017.