Science fair draws world's brightest - 05/10/00
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detnews.com home page Wednesday, May 10, 2000

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Science fair draws world's brightest
Greenfield Village ceremony welcomes 3,000 participants

Image
Morris Richardson II / The Detroit News
Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman, left, talks with Kenneth Robertson, center, and Sanket Nayyan during a tour of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Laboratories.


The Nobel Prize Winners

Russell A. Hulse

   Hulse, 50, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1993 for the discovery of the first binary pulsar -- a twin star system that provides a rare natural laboratory to test Albert Einstein's theory that moving objects emit gravitational waves. Hulse attended Cooper Union, a tuition-free college in lower Manhattan, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physics.

Robert Curl

   Curl, 66, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of Buckminsterfullerene. His discovery opened a field of research in nanoscale science and technology. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1954 from the Rice Quantum Institute in Houston, Texas, and a Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of California.

Leon M. Lederman

   Lederman, 78, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988, for supervising the construction and utilization of the first superconducting synchrotron -- the highest energy accelerator in the world. Lederman also received the National Medal of Science in 1965 and the Wolf Prize for Physics in 1982.
By Lama Bakri / The Detroit News

    DEARBORN -- Some of the world's smartest people gathered at Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village Tuesday for a grand celebration to welcome participants in the Intel 2000 International Science and Engineering Fair this week at Detroit's Cobo Center.
   More than 3,000 participants from 41 countries and three Nobel Prize winners attended the festivities, which included a tour of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory in Greenfield Village and a flag ceremony representing the countries in the science exposition.
   Students at the welcome ceremony got a chance to tour the grounds and chat with the Nobel Prize winners.
   Sanket Nayyar, a student at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Antioch, Tenn., said he was thrilled to be among the throng of future scientists.
   "This is an experience of a lifetime," said Nayyar about his first visit to Dearborn. "I got to meet the Nobel Prize winners and ask them questions. This was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
   Jing Li, another participant in the science fair, agreed.
   "This is an exciting city," said Li, 17, of Beijing, China, who spoke excellent English. "I'm enjoying myself and meeting tons of people."
   Greenfield Village was chosen as the ceremony site because it represents history, diverse cultures, education and the future, said Bill Pretzer, the museum's curator and a member of the host committee for International Science and Engineering Fair.
   Leon M. Lederman, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988, said he enjoyed strolling through Greenfield Village, especially the tour of Edison's laboratory.
   "I'm certainly learning a lot," said Lederman, 78.
   Students this week are competing for $2 million in awards and scholarships at the world's largest, precollege science fair. Students in the Cobo Center fair are required to present research projects that address a wide variety of scientific issues.
   The fair, administered by Science Service ofWashington, D.C.-is held in a different city each year.
   


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