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US DOT honors local man for innovation

  • Published in Local

U.S. Department of Transportation honors Joseph Daniels of Silver Spring with its RAISE award.  COURTESY PHOTO U.S. Department of Transportation honors Joseph Daniels of Silver Spring with its RAISE award. COURTESY PHOTO  The U.S. Department of Transportation last week honored Silver Spring native Joseph Daniels with its Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering (RAISE) award for his work to develop cheaper heating element systems for pavement surfaces. The award is given annually by the DOT to encourage creative thinking among students and allow them to create new solutions to aviation challenges. 

“It was a very humbling moment,” said the University of Arkansas Ph.D. candidate. “I’m still figuring out the gravity of the award and the prestige.”

Daniels, who in 2009 graduated from Springbrook High School – where he played football and was a member of the 2008 championship basketball team – said he was “very excited” to receive the award at a Jan. 6 ceremony, during which he was honored by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

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Wheaton High School wins Maryland Science Bowl

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — Wheaton High School won the Maryland Science Bowl on Saturday defeating Poolesville in the final round at Montgomery College. 

“I am incredibly proud of my students for their victory in the Maryland/DC Regional Science Bowl. They made this happen – they worked extremely hard and came together as a team in the way any coach would dream of,” Daniel Bates, a science teacher at Wheaton High School and coach of the winning team wrote in an email. 

Forty-eight teams representing 25 schools from across Maryland and DC participated in the tournament, with some schools fielding multiple entrants.

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NIH study shows air pollution increases pregnancy risks

  • Published in Health

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A new study released by the National Institutes of Health reveals that effects from air pollution could increase the risk of early pregnancy loss.

"We've studied air pollution and reproductive health for several years, it's an area of research for myself and my team," said Pauline Mendola, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and a researcher at NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Mendola explained that after she and her colleagues published a paper earlier this year that revealed that exposure to ground-level ozone was associated with stillbirth, they were curious to see whether the same pollutants could be correlated with miscarriage as well. The study concluded that couples exposed to air pollution were more likely to experience a loss in early-stage pregnancies.

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NIH launches project to crowdsource pregnancy health information

  • Published in Health

The National Institutes of Health has launched a project to improve the understanding of pregnancy through crowdsourcing information gathered through surveys.

Known as PregSource, the project presents data collected through surveys as an informational resource for doctors, researchers, and women experiencing pregnancy.

“PregSource benefits everyone – the participants, their healthcare providers, and the research community," said Dr. Diana W. Bianchi, director of NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which leads the project. “The project also will generate much-needed data to help researchers address long-held questions about maternal and fetal health.”

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Some students still want to get “Lost in Space”

  • Published in Local

Brad Gurda’s seventh-grade students at Parkland Magnet School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville are in for a surprise when school starts again in September. Their teacher will be wearing the blue flight suit he was given while attending the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy program this summer.

Gurda spent five very intense days in Huntsville, Alabama, learning not just about space and what astronauts experience but also how to make science interesting to his students.

“It was remarkable,” said the 31-year-old teacher, who lives in Frederick. For five days, he joined a group of teachers from 45 states and 33 countries as he participated in classroom lectures and laboratory and field training. He worked with a team of 15 teachers who performed many of the same exercises that astronauts do.

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He blinded me with Science double talk folks

Science March 4

People who are convinced of the absolute righteousness of their single cause on any issue are as enjoyable to have a conversation with as discussing the actuary table with an insurance agent.
It’s a long, slow boring march into the obvious with the chance of being distracted by the obtuse and miscellaneous.
There are few exceptions to this rule. Zealots of any brand, whether religious or otherwise are among the least enjoyable people to be around on the planet.
Politicians in Washington D.C. are the poster children for this sentiment – and I care little if we’re discussing the far left or far right.
This past weekend scientists marched for common sense in several cities across the country – not convinced of the righteousness of a single cause – but convinced the country shouldn’t abandon the process of scientific research – you know the research which in the past has given us every technological, medical and other advance we hold dear to our heart.

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