Agriculture Press Release

June 23, 2000

Students Win Awards for Ag Science Projects

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that two students have been awarded $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for their agricultural projects presented at the Forty-Fifth Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida competition held in Gainesville.

Tara E. Barrett, of Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce, won a $1,000 Savings Bond for her project in the Junior Division, botany science category. Hannah M. Kaufman, of Newberry High School in Newberry, was the Senior Division winner with a project in the microbiology science category.

"I was impressed by the sophistication of the projects undertaken by these young people and I applaud their efforts," Crawford said. "The agricultural sciences offer challenging career opportunities and I hope these and other young people pursue careers in these fields."

The purpose of Barretts experiment was to determine if genetically engineered plants germinate faster than those which are grown naturally. Kaufmans project examined the survival of the Salmonella and Escherichia coli bacteria on waxed versus unwaxed surfaces.

To help students select a topic and carry out their science fair project, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services developed and maintains "Planet Ag," an Internet web site packed with ideas and information.

Planet Ag provides students with an explanation of the scientific method, from choosing a topic and stating a hypothesis, to deciding on a procedure and recording the results. The web site also provides a sample project for students to review, a look at previous winners projects, and links to other agriculture- and science-related sites.

Planet Ag is accessed on the Internet at www.fl-ag.com/PlanetAg

The State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida is a three-day display of science project exhibits prepared by aspiring scientists and engineers in grades six through twelve from throughout the state. The fair is administered by the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists, which promotes activities that encourage young people to pursue careers in science, engineering and research.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is among numerous government agencies, businesses and organizations that contribute awards for the fair. The winners of Department awards were selected by Department specialists involved in food safety, entomology and plant pathology.


For more information:
Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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