Category: Citizen Science
From exploring Medieval chain mail to detecting illicit vaping, local high school students showcase their research and hard work
The projects cover a wide swath of topics: a patent-pending tool to analyze DNA, a device aimed at addressing a modern twist on “smoking in the boys’ room,” and a comparison of the strength of historic patterns of chain mail.
Bundled in a heavy coat, a woman sits in a picnic shelter at Hillandale Park. Five large, healthy cats dine on plates of cat food scattered around her. She and several other caretakers come twice a day to feed these “homeless” cats, as she calls them. She doesn’t want to be identified; she’s been hassled over the years for doing this.
After Bridgeforth Stadium, it’s possibly the most recognizable landmark for those driving through Harrisonburg on Interstate 81. The 120-foot wind turbine is perched on a ridge on the east side of the highway, its spinning, 33-foot blades propelled by the invisible breeze. What can’t be seen from the road is the force behind that specific turbine – a renewable energy advocacy organization that calls Harrisonburg home.
“Sometimes the forecast is a big bust, like the horrible snow we got in December,” Urbanowicz recalled. “There was a 15-inch difference in the snow totals within forty miles. That’s the humbling part of being a meteorologist. You’re still trying to predict the future.”
Snowy Owls, flamingos — you never know what kind of birds you might encounter in the Shenandoah Valley. However, on the eve of the annual Rockingham County Christmas Bird Count, a group of eagle-eyed bird watchers have a pretty good idea of which ones have been through the area — for now.
Harrisonburg High School teacher Myron Blosser’s educational philosophy is as follows: “Any time you do something you build more emotion than when you just see or read something.”
This Wednesday, that “doing something” had his students piled into the small radiology room at The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, peering x-ray images displayed on a computer.
“Yep,” one student called to Blosser, who was crowded out into the hallway. “This one’s got lead in it.”