Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spotlight on the Eighth Grade, Southwest Region, First Place Team; Dr. MED

Team Name: DR.MED
Region: Southwest
Grade: 8
School: NEISD STEM ACADEMY
City, State: San Antonio, Texas
Team Advisor: Sandra Geisbush
Students: Jocelyn Hernandez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Nathaly Salazar, Carlos Zapata
Mission Challenge: Environment

Team “DR.MED” was recognized for investigating the effects that the improper disposal of pharmaceutical chemicals has on Edwards Aquifer, a groundwater resource for the city of San Antonio. The team first introduced a dietary supplement, an over-the-counter medication and a prescription drug, in equal amounts, into 10 identical soil substrates. After infusing water into each sample, the soil and runoff was tested for a change in pH, nitrate, nitrite, hardness, alkalinity, temperature and specific gravity by comparing it to a control group. The team then used two identical stream tables with substrates to measure the soil and runoff using the same method as before, introducing the contaminants to only one of the tables. After analyzing their results, the students concluded that the introduction of pharmaceuticals have an impact on the pH, alkalinity, hardness, nitrites and nitrates in water sources, resulting in negative implications for the ecology of Edwards Aquifer.

Each student on "Dr. MED" has won $3,000.00 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Army, and an expenses-paid trip to the National Judging and Educational Event in Washington D.C. in June to present their final projects and compete for an additional $5,000.00 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.

To view the full list of the 2010-2011 eCYBERMISSION state and regional winning teams, click here.

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