Topic - Science in the News
November 1, 2013
Fort Lauderdale, Florida sixth grader Peyton Robertson may revolutionize how we protect ourselves and property from flooding.
Earlier this month, he won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his sandless sandbag. The Young Scientist Challenge is sponsored by 3M and the Discovery Channel Education and is open to students in grades 5 – 8. The 2014 challenge opens in late December. Student scientists can win cash prizes and trips.
Courtesy ABC News
Robertson, who wants to be an inventor when he grows up, has invented a sandbag that doesn’t use sand to stop flooding. His bag is “sandless” and contains a much lighter polymer. Sandbags weigh about 40 pounds each, but the sandless sandbag only weighs only a few pounds.
The sandless bag is filled with a mixture of an “ultra-fluid” polymer and salt. When the bag gets wet, the polymer absorbs water and expands, keeping water from seeping through the cracks between bags. This bag is heavy when expanded and won’t float away either.
September 16, 2013
The Colorado Front Range is still reeling after a major storm dumped more precipitation on areas in 24 to 48 hours than they receive in an entire year. The result was 20-foot walls of water rushing down the sides of mountains, rivers coming over their banks, roads and bridges washed away and houses flooded. Hundreds of roads and bridges washed away across the Front Range. Some places, like the town of Lyons, became islands completely surrounded by water.
Lefthand Canyon washed away Submitted By: Laura
Courtesy 9News, Denver
The flooding has effected 17 Colorado counties with the most devastating in Boulder and Larimer counties. Parts of Jefferson County around Golden and Evergreen and Arapahoe County in Aurora are also affected.
July 31, 2013
Renault is the first car manufacturer to sell a zero-emission vehicle. They have an entire line of electric cars to suit every need and motorhead.
Their newest and smallest car, the Twizy Electric Car, uses the same tires as Renault’s Formula 2.0 car and a Forumla One-styled steering wheel. The car also has LED headlights, two electric motors, and a screen with real-time vehicle data. The Twizy is a double–person commuter car that looks like something out of the movie TRON, or maybe Mario Cart. Add a little plastic steering wheel and Mario is ready to race!
The Twizy also incorporates an intelligent alternator. This high-tech device captures the kinetic energy used while braking and uses it to boost power, instead of just losing it as heat.
The driver and passenger sit tantum-style. One style will top out at about 45 kph and can be driven without a license. The faster version can go about 80kph and requires a license. This is a car that is open-air but doesn’t
July 24, 2013
Earlier this month, a plane powered by the sun completed its first voyage across the United States. The Solar Impulse is the first solar-powered plane that can fly during the day and night. It uses energy collected in 12,000 solar cells to power four propellers. The wingspan is as long as a jumbo jet and it weighs the same as a small car.
Solar Impulse is seen at JFK airport in New York July 6, 2013.
The plane began its journey in San Francisco during early May when it flew to Phoenix. It continued with layovers of several weeks through Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and then to Kennedy Airport in New York.
The project has taken 10 years from conception to completion.
July 17, 2013
Flint Lockwood made it rain made-to-order food down on his small town in the movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. His contraption couldn’t have cost as much as a real burger made in a lab – $325,000.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Courtesy Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation
Mark Post, a vascular physiologist at the University of Maastrict in the Netherlands, harvested stem cells from the waste at slaughterhouses. He grew the burger meat in a petri dish vs. a cow. The cells were still from cows instead of soy beans or manufactured cells.