Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Importance: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Aug 04, 2009
Scientist: Adina Paytan

Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Importance

Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Importance
There's an important water quality study underway, and the lead investigator is a third-grader.


music; ambience

AP: “So what kind of scientist do you want to be when you grow up?”
CD: “Actually, I really want to be a water scientist.”

Not only has third-grader Claire Dworsky honed in on a possible career in water science, she’s already making waves in the field. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire is one of the winners of the Kids’ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. She’s launched an ambitious research project investigating the environmental impact of different types of soccer fields. By testing the water runoff from both grass and artificial turf fields, she intends to identify which field is kinder to the environment. UC Santa Cruz Oceanographer Adina Paytan is directing the research .

CD: “I’m here to take some samples to test the water off some grass and turf fields to see if there are any pollutants inside.”

AP: “Claire, I think what you’re doing is really, really important, because I think we need to understand how this is influencing us, in many ways: one thing could be if we’re breathing little particles that come out the turf fields, or if we’re going to drink groundwater that may be polluted from the grass fields.

CD: “The water can go inside the sewers, then it will go into the ocean, there might be some pollutants”

AP: “So if we’re having these fields we want to make sure that they’re safe for the people that are playing there, but also that they’re good for the environment. These are things that we want to consider when the city makes a decision on how many turf or grass fields to put in.”

Adina Paytan and Claire Dworsky are testing over 100 water samples in what has become one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind. To follow their progress, go to

Pulse of the Planet’s Kids’ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.