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8th grade Math & Science team wins state title in national chemistry competition
A team of four female 8th grade Math and Science Department students won the state title as winners in a national chemistry competition. You Be the Chemist is a new competition started by the Chemical Education Foundation geared toward students in grades 5 through 8. Their goal is to “build the excitement and value of chemistry and STEM-related careers” starting at a young age.
ASFA 8th graders Ashu Anand, Aanchal Behara, Misha Patel and Prisha Sharma created an eight-minute video about the current dangers related to ocean pollution and waste management. Their video project, entitled “Saving the World through Sustainability” explained the leading contributors to global warming, ocean pollution and other environmental challenges.
“Sustainability is minimizing the negative impacts on the environment caused by (a lack of adherence to regulations) by manufacturing and chemical processing (companies),” Aanchal said. “Several companies worldwide dump their leftover waste and toxins into our rivers and other waterways that eventually get to the ocean.”
She continued by explaining that “over the years there has been a massive increase in plastics in the ocean and is one of the most common ocean pollutants. Animals often mistake the plastic for food and will eat the plastic.” As a result, the animals die, affecting the world’s food chain.
“Avoiding the use of hazardous and toxic materials help the environment,” Misha shared in the video.
Prisha added, “Pollution (also) comes from cars, factories, homes and power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas, but advances are being made through the greater use of renewable energies such as wind power, solar power and hydropower. We can reduce global warming by turning off lights at home,” among other things.
Finally, Ashu reported on the rising acid levels in the world’s oceans. “Ocean water is warming and is being affected by the overgrown amount of plastic in our ocean wildlife. It is affecting our ocean wildlife, coral reefs, habitats of fishes and our food chain.”
The students reported that there are several things that people can do to help address this problem, namely by starting with recycling materials that can be turned into other products and reusing materials to lengthen their lifespan.
More than 36,000 students from 266 schools across North America competed in the competition this year.
ASFA 8th grade Science teacher Dr. Walter Uhoya, who urged the students to participate in the new contest, says the link to the students’ video project can be found here: https://www.chemed.org/2020-2021-challenge-state-winners/