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November 4th, 2008

Student contest winners explore ‘greenhouse world’

Published on November 4th, 2008 | By: pwray@ceramics.org
Students Barbara Terlouw and Robin van der Bles, with teacher JanHendrik Wolters (standing).

Students Barbara Terlouw and Robin van der Bles, with teacher JanHendrik Wolters (standing).

Two Dutch high school students have captured the top prize in an annual competition sponsored by PANalytical, a supplier of analytical and X-ray diffraction equipment, to stimulate young people’s interest in science. This year’s prize – a week-long “Expedition to the Greenhouse World” in Spitsbergen, Norway – was awarded to Barbara Terlouw and Robin van der Bles for a short film they wrote and produced entitled, “Space Investigation.” The film portrays the students’ vision of the consequences of climate change. The film and trip were tied into an educational project coordinated with Utrecht University to make high school students more aware of climate and their environment. During the expedition, Terlouw and van der Bles wrote a daily weblog to chart the tour’s progress and their reflections on a trip that took them to the Longyearbyen Glacier, fossil hunting and almost two and a half miles underground to explore a working coal mine, where they saw 55-million year old footprints made by extinct hippopotamus-like mammals. Unless you can read Dutch, you won’t get much out of the blog itself. However, the photographs and video the students posted on the website make for fascinating viewing. The students also took time to thank PANalytical, headquartered in Almelo, the Netherlands, for making the trip possible.

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