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Ralph Burne
Maharishi School student, Raph Burne won first place in science competition.



Young scientist takes the challenge
Press Release by June Oliver, writer for Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, Iowa, USA
24 October 2007

This year’s late frost didn’t faze Fairfield’s budding scientists. Thirteen of the eighth grade science students from Maharishi School made a great spring showing at the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair, bringing home 23 awards. Two of the students went on to the more rigorous state science fair, where they each brought home three awards.

Highest accolades went to Raph Burne who channeled his annoyance with badly soundproofed walls into an investigation of six types of sound insulator: cotton wool, carpet, cardboard, tiles, bubble wrap and Styrofoam. He tested their effectiveness in blocking noise in miniature “rooms” he created out of cardboard boxes. First he covered each box with a different insulator and then placed a decibel meter inside to measure noise he generated from a nearby water faucet.

“I predicted that cotton wool would be the best insulator due to the good balance of air pockets vs. density,” Raph explained. “But it turned out that carpet had the better balance. Styrofoam was the worst because of its lack of density.”

Raph’s study won the first place eighth grade physical science award from the Iowa Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) in Ames. The Colleges of Engineering at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University named the study overall best in the junior physical division and awarded Raph a $1000 prize. He won another $100 from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, which ranked the study the top overall best junior high physical project.

Atreya Dey won a Discovery Channel Young Scientist Award for his study, “Can We Replace Road Salt with Exothermic Organic Materials?” Exothermic materials like cayenne pepper, which Atreya tested in his study, release energy in the form of heat. The study won the ISTF second place award in the eighth grade physical science division. Go! Magazine gave Atreya their Innovative Thinking Award and a $50 cash prize.

Raph and Atreya decided to enter their projects in the state competition after their success at the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair (EISEF). At this regional competition, Raph won the Junior Championship award, a Discovery Award, an EISEF first place medal, and a first place award from the Epidemiology Student Association. Atreya won an EISEF second place medal, a second place award from Cargill Industries and an outstanding achievement award from FPL Energy.

Other EISEF winners included: Lila Cutter (first place, Discovery Award); Wesley Folz (first place, Discovery Award); Jhana Valentine (first place, FPL Energy Outstanding Achievement Award); Penelope Makeig (second place, Alan B. Adams Meritorious Achievement Award); Anna Brett: (Epidemiology Student Association Second Place Award); Ryan Stakland (honorable mention, Epidemiology Student Association Honorable Mention Award); Emily Pfoutz (second place); Tahra Wilkins (second place); Paavani Kar (second place); Elysia Belilove (honorable mention); and Dodie Paige Thiel (honorable mention).

Their winning projects examined a variety of colorful and practical questions, such as: “How much bacteria is on your soda can?"

Copyright © 2007 Global Good News(sm) Service


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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