Young scientists create green projects

March 13, 2008 12:05:08 AM PDT
It was not your typical science fair in San Jose. Some bright, young minds from the Silicon Valley are tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Keeping up with Karen Gundy-Burlet is hard to do, especially today.

The research scientist at NASA Aimes is a judge at this year's Synopsis Science and Technology Championship, where Santa Clara County's strongest young scientists and inventors come to compete.

"My project is testing the temperature and different output of the solar panel," said one competitor.

It goes without saying -- competition is tough. You won't find exploding volcanoes or basic computer programs here. Instead, you'll be asked 'is your credit card safe' by a 13-year-old.

He says he's found a way to stop on line hackers from stealing credit card numbers.

"I was always interested in programming and cryptography so this seems like an ideal project for me," said 13-year-old Marcus Goldszmidt.

Projects with passion and purpose are popular this year. Judges have never seen so many submissions that deal with environmentally sensitive issues.

From water conservation to bio diesel ideas, these students are following Silicon Valley's trend of going green.

"Global warming is killing us," said sixth grader Alon Yoeli.

It's something this 6th grader says he thinks about every day. That's why he's created cost effective solar panels, which use mirrors to reflect light.

"You have to get perfect angels of the solar panels and the mirrors to get it to be the most efficient as possible," said Yoeli.

"I've seen so many fabulous projects today," said judge Karen Gundy Burlet.

"This event is gaining notoriety, both on the state level and nationally. Forty-three students from today will go on to compete at the California state science fair, while another dozen will go to Intel's international competition.