Young Naturalists Awards Challenge (Grades 7-12)

American Museum of Natural History Young Naturalist Awards Challenges Students in STEM

Do you know students in grades 7-12 that love science and nature and conducting their own science experiment? The American Museum of Natural History, in New York, is hosting its annual Young Naturalist Awards challenge for students around the US. It is open to traditional students as well as home school students.

Young naturalist awaards

What Do You Have to Do to Enter?

For guidelines click here: http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/1.-select-a-project.

Students must select a project for scientific inquiry. This means finding an area of interest from snowy owls to photosynthesis. Next students must ask a question, form a hypothesis, create an experimental design, conduct an experiment, record data, evaluate data, and synthesize findings. The link above has some great resources on how to choose a research topic and asking a good scientific question.

How is the Final Entry Presented?

For the rules page click here: http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/2.-read-the-rules

Young naturalists may submit their experiment digitally in essay form, complete with graphs, photos, and illustrations. As mentioned on the museum website the essay length must fall within the following limits:
- Grades 7-8: 500-2,000 words
- Grades 9-10: 1,000-2,500 words
- Grades 11-12: 1,500-3,500 words

What are Some of the Previous Winners or Topics?

For past winners check out http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/winning-essays2/2013-winning-essays

Some of the winning projects from 2013 were:

  • A Study of the Effectiveness of Deer Repellents on The Eating Habits of White Tailed Deer
  • Urban Birds in Central Park
  • Weed Warefare: A Study of Allelopahty
  • Bacterial Activity in Different Water Sources: A Squeal Comparative Study
  • Floating Docks Provide Footing for Exotic Marine Species: Differences in Dock Substrate Types Within a Coastal Pond

young naturalist 2

Are There Resources for Educators?

Visit this page for educator resources http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/for-educators

Yes! Above is a link to a complete page of resources for integrating the challenge into your classroom curriculum, particularly for STEM, as well as for parents that may want to encourage their students to do this independently. On the page link above you'll find PDFs with information about choosing a research topic, asking questions, rules, rubrics, avoiding plagiarism, how to conduct research, planning experiments and more.

ENTRY SUBMISSIONS: When I last checked their website the main page said December 1st 2012-March 1st 2013, BUT they are actually accepting submissions for 2014 starting December 1st, 2013 through March 1st, 2014. Yes, the contest is still going on, so don't be fooled by their web page.

 
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About Infinite Spider

My name is Karen and I am currently the Education Program Coordinator at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, working with students K-gray and doing outdoor science education based on Smithsonian research. I have also been a curriculum developer for the Smithsonian Science Education Center and a contract curriculum writer for the Discovery Channel. In my spare time I love to explore nature topics that I want to know more about, which has lead me to blogging here on "The Infinite Spider" (Infinitespider.com). I've designed it to be a science and nature blog for every-day people, naturalists, and outdoor educators. Currently I live in Annapolis, MD. If you have questions you can reach me at greathornedowl76@gmail.com. Let me know if you enjoy the blog or if you would like to see a particular topic covered. Thanks for reading!