Airdate: Aug 04, 2009
Scientist: Adina Paytan
Kids' Science Challenge: Claire - Importance
There's an important water quality study underway, and the lead investigator is a third-grader.
AP: â€œSo what kind of scientist do you want to be when you grow up?â€
CD: â€œActually, I really want to be a water scientist.â€
Not only has third-grader Claire Dworsky honed in on a possible career in water science, sheâ€™s already making waves in the field. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire is one of the winners of the Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. Sheâ€™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: â€œIâ€™m here to take some samples to test the water off some grass and turf fields to see if there are any pollutants inside.â€
AP: â€œClaire, I think what youâ€™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 weâ€™re breathing little particles that come out the turf fields, or if weâ€™re going to drink groundwater that may be polluted from the grass fields.
CD: â€œThe water can go inside the sewers, then it will go into the ocean, there might be some pollutantsâ€
AP: â€œSo if weâ€™re having these fields we want to make sure that theyâ€™re safe for the people that are playing there, but also that theyâ€™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.â€
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 kidsciencechallenge.com.
Pulse of the Planetâ€™s Kidsâ€™ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner.