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Science Awards for Excellence Submit Your Candidate!

"Excellence: The fact or condition of excelling; superiority; surpassing goodness, merit, etc." 
 Do you know someone that fits that description?  Maybe a scientist who is changing lives for the better?  Or a teacher who is expanding minds and inspiring students toward science careers?  The Carnegie Science Center's Awards for Excellence (formerly the
Science and Technology Awards) is your opportunity to see that their achievements are recognized. And, as Pittsburgh continues to grow as a center for science, technology, and research, you shouldn't have to look far for an eligible candidate. Presented in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, this annual event aims to raise public awareness about science and its applications in our daily lives. Since 1997, the awards have emphasized the vital link between schools, research, laboratories, business development, and job creation in the region and society at large. 
 Ten awards will be given for outstanding achievement in the following categories:
  • Science/Engineer (biomedical, advanced manufacturing and materials, environmental, and information technology): Acknowledging outstanding scientific research and achievement that has led to established economic benefits in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. The award focuses on specific endeavors rather than lifetime achievement.
  • Entrepreneur: Candidates must have successfully commercialized results of scientific research toward the development of a business or the creation of jobs.
  • Catalyst: This category recognizes an individual or group for excellence in promoting awareness of science and increasing publicappreciation of scientific issues. Author and environmentalist Rachel Carson is an example of a catalyst.
  • Teacher (university/post secondary, high school, middle school, elementary): Presented to teachers who have inspired students to understand, appreciate, and apply science.
Forms for candidates may be obtained by calling 237-3353 or can be submitted online at http://www.pghtech.org. Entries must be postmarked by Monday, January 8, 2001. A panel of professionals, including past winners from related fields will judge submissions. Winners will be notified February 19-23, 2001, will receive a $1,000 cash prize to be applied to a scientific project, and will be feted at an awards banquet at the Pittsburgh Hilton, April 4, 2001. 

Enjoy Winter at the Omnimax

The Rangos Omnimax movie Alaska features all the magic and majesty of the Last Frontier, including a breathtaking Aurora Borealis sequence. But what

exactly is the Aurora Borealis? Well, the northern lights--a shimmering spectrum of colors ranging from deep reds to brilliant blues that dance across Alaska's night skies--are the result of protons and electrons
striking particles in the atmosphere. The particles come from the sun, enter Earth's magnetic field, and gravitate toward the northern and southern hemispheres. Reds and greens are produced by oxygen; blues and magentas by nitrogen. You already knew that? 
Take the following quiz and discover what else you know about the Land of the Midnight Sun  (sorry, correct answers will NOT make you a millionaire)-- then see the movie and learn even more.
1) What does "Alaska" mean in the Aleut language?
2) How many penguins live in Alaska?
3) What percentage of Alaska's 570,374 square miles in uninhabited?
4) How many of the world's 500 active volcanoes are in Alaska?
5) When President Andrew Jackson purchased Alaska from the Russians in 1867, how much did he spend?

Click here for answers.

Tickets to the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia would cost you a couple hundred dollars--add airfare, hotel accommodations, and souvenirs and you'll say
goodbye to junior's college fund. Tickets to the Omnimax theater's Olympic Glory, however, are $6.50--and the view is better.  Olympic Glory is the first large-format film about the Olympic Games, and it puts you into the stands and on the ice of the 1998 winter games in Nagano, Japan.
Highlights include montages of figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan, the United States women's hockey team, and Hermann Maier's spectacular alpine skiing crash. The thrill of victory and the agony of
defeat on a four-story high screen--it's BETTER than being there!
Alaska and Olympic Glory run through February 28, 2001. Call 237-3400 for showtimes.



You CAN go home again. This November--the 80th anniversary of the Carnegie Science Center's popular Miniature Railroad & Village--several pieces from the original exhibit will be loaned permanently to Brookville, Pennsylvania's  Jefferson County Historical and Genealogy Society. The pieces, which will be displayed in Brookville's Brady Craig Museum (located in the town's historic district), were created by Brookville native Charles Bowdish for his holiday display. Bowdish transported his much-loved display to Pittsburgh in 1954, when the "hobby"--and the crowds wanting to see it--grew too large for his home. 

 "The people of Brookville look at the railroad as 'the one that gotaway,'" says Patty Everly, MRR&V program coordinator. 

 It has yet to be determined how many pieces will be loaned--although Mike Orban, MRR&V manager, says, "more than 10 and less than 100. The pieces will include replicas of houses, stores, and the octagonal barn located a few miles outside of Brookville.  "I wanted to take some of Charlie's work out of deep storage, and put it on display where people can see it," Orban says.  "Brookville was the natural place for them, and I think he would be pleased to see his work return to his hometown." 

 "It was a piece of the town's history that was missing," says Randy Bartley, president of the Jefferson County Historical and Genealogy Society. "It's been one of those 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' kind of things."

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