FT. WORTH, Texas --ITT Industries and the Water Environment Federation(WEF), have nominated Brett De Poister, a high school student in Reading, Pa., as this year's U.S. finalist for the Intemational Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the world's most prestigious water science prize for youth. Nominated at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), De Poister will represent the United States as he competes for the international prize awarded by the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in August at the Stockholm Water Symposium.
Sponsored nationally by ITT Industries and WEF, and globally by ITT Industries, the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize was established to engage and support the interest of young people in water environment issues at the regional, national, and international levels. The Prize, now in its fourth year, is awarded annually to high school students who have contributed to water conservation and improvement through outstanding research. For the U.S. nomination, student submissions were judged by water experts from the WEF, based on creative ability, scientific procedure, subject knowledge, and presentation.
"ITT Industries, with the WEF, is honored to be sending Brett to Stockholm to represent the United States," said Travis Engen, Chairman, Chief Executive and President of ITT Industries, "It's an outstanding opportunity for him to gain exposure in the writer science community of professionals, while providing excellent research on existing water ecology issues."
De Poister's research consisted of fieldwork, lab tests, and analysis to determine the effects of common pesticides and toxins on frog embryos found in the world' s water environment. Specifically, he studied the effects of zinc, an element commonly found in water located near battery plants (Brett lives near such a plant), and Diazinon, a common pesticide used by farmers and gardeners to kill leaf-eating insects. Brett decided to use frog embryos as his subject due to the baffling concern in the science world surrounding the decrease in amphibian populations. He concluded that both pollutants caused problems during the early stages of development and that abnormalities worsened as the subject's further developed.
"It is very exciting to see a young person like Brett speak so knowledgeably and express such dedication for the environment," said Dr. Charles Sorber, president of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and former president of the Water Environment Federation. "The judges and I believe Brett's project will do very well in Stockholm. His research addresses an issue decreasing amphibian populations that is extremely important in the United States and around the globe."
Honorable mentions were awarded to Ms. Linda Arnade of Stone Junior High School, Melbourne, Fla.; Ms. Janette Burba of Plumstead Christian School, Plumstead, Pa.; Ms. Morgan Dusch of Paoli High School, Paoli, Ind.; Ms. Sirisha Kalicheti of Chantilly High School, Chantilly. Va.; and, Ms. Christina Salazar of Keystone School, San Antonio, Texas.
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