This is a new Leonardo/olats initiative. if you work with a Rotary Club in your
town we can explore doing a similar project !!
Rotary Bestows Young Leonardo Awards
By Diane G.Bemis
Who would be named the Littleton Rotary Club's Young Leonardo of
2009? What inventive solutions and artistic interpretations would win
the day? That's what parents, teachers, Rotarians and students came to
find out. The projects were all set up and the students were anxious
to get their turn to explain their entry to the panel of judges at the
first annual Rotary-sponsored Young Leonard Awards on Friday, June 5th
at Littleton High School. Students submitted poems and essays on such
topics as 'how to feed the hungry children of the world' and 'how to
make boats that actually clean the water' . Artistic interpretations
of their scientific inquiry included oil paintings, wooden models,
fabric dying and more.
The Rotary Club of Littleton, in conjunction with the Leonardo
Organization of Paris, France, initiated the Young Leonardo Awards
competition for all Littleton students in grades 6-12. In March
applications and invitations to participate were sent to all schools
where Littleton students attend. The competition was a two-fold
program with a literary component and an artistic component. The
purpose of the Young Leonardo project was to promote the relationship
between knowledge, creativity and critical thinking, bringing together
the best ideas and tools in the arts and sciences to create
connections between inventive scientific problem solving and artistic
interpretation or representation. . . Thus the name the Young Leonardo
The literary component had to be an essay or a poem which expressed a
scientific dilemma, problem or curiosity that students had studied in
class and was connected to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
The write-up had to convey the problem or dilemma with a possible
solution based on scientific research and intellectual creativity.
The artistic component had to be a product that visually reflected
the problem or dilemma and the possible solution to the problem. It
could be a sculpture, painting, invention, mechanical drawing,
photograph, technology-based presentation or any other visual
interpretation of the scientific issue and solution.
Students who decided to enter, submitted their essays and poems
electronically on June 1st and presented their artistic
interpretations on June 5th in the Littleton High School Cafeteria.
All participants were awarded certificates of participation and
enjoyed refreshments provided by Mr. John Overcash while awaiting the
results of the judges – Richard Land from the Leonardo Organization,
Steve Glines, a member and past president of the Littleton Rotary Club
and Kathy Horniak, current president of the Littleton Rotary Club.
The topics submitted by Middle School students for judgment included:
1. Which Tye Dye is the Brightest and Boldest –By Ashley Cotnam and
2. Volcanoes – by Brittany White and Audrey Zaborowski
3. Whose Fault is it? – by Devin Finnerty
4. Faults – by Meaghann Ackerman
5. Water Pollution: Cleaning Boats – by Mary Hollinger
The topics submitted by High School Students included:
1. Golden Millet – by Christina Perez
2. Protecting Soldiers on the 21st century Battlefield – by Frank Magurn
3. One Man's Grease is Another Man's Biodiesel – by Joe Lawrence and
And the winners are . . .
In the High School division, the Grand prize winner of $500.00 was
Christina Perez with her presentation on the possibility of
genetically altered Golden Millet. Honorable Mention and $100 went to
each of two presentations. Frank Magurn's proposal was on better
diagnosis and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury on and off the
battlefield. Also getting Honorable Mention and a $100 prize were Joe
Lawrence and Sam Keutzer with their presentation on the use of
biodiesel in cars to replace gasoline to decrease air pollution and
increase worldwide economy.
In the Middle School division first prize and $100 went to Mary
Hollinger with her proposal to make boats with water-cleaning filters.
In second place for $50 Ashley Cotnam and Tabitha Gruskowski won for
their presentation on Tye Dying with various fabrics and the third
prize for $25 went to Ethan Rambacher's explanation of the Earth's
mantle and core layers.
All cash prizes will be presented at the Littleton Rotary meeting on
June 17th at One Monarch Drive. The students will briefly give an
overview of their projects to the members of Rotary and will be
presented their checks by Richard Land from the Leonardo Organization.
The Littleton Rotary looks forward to hosting the second annual
Leonardo awards next spring. In future competitions, the Littleton
winners will go on to compete with other Rotary Club winners
regionally and nationally with the hopes of this competition growing
into an international Rotary Program in the near future.
leonardo web site at www.leonardo.info
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