The Third Degree

Test your reading of this issue of MichiganScience

Students in grades six through 12 can compete for a $100 gift certificate from Edmund Science Kit. The winner will be determined by a random drawing from entries with all the correct answers. Please send entries to


1. What is the initial construction cost for a new nuclear power plant?

A. $6 million
B. $7 billion
C. $8 trillion
D. $700,000

2. Which city’s museum is hosting a hands-on exhibit about dinosaurs?

A. Lansing
B. Detroit
C. Grand Rapids
D. Ann Arbor

3. How many people worldwide use cell phones?

A. 3 million 
B. 30 million 
C. 3 billion 
D. 300,000

4. How many species are listed as endangered or threatened under Michigan’s Endangered Species Act? 

A. 41   B. 40    C. 81   D. 127

5. What does the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 propose to do?

A. Establish a flat-rate carbon tax on all greenhouse gas producers
B. Encourage investment in compressed natural gas
C. Set up a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions
D. Offer tax breaks for wind turbine construction

6. How many new nuclear power plants are currently applying for permits?

A. 17   B. 31   C. 70   D. 15

7. Where is the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station?

A. Bridgman, in Berrien County
B. Monroe County
C. Rural Alabama
D. Van Buren County

8. Which of the following is not a source of compressed natural gas?

A. Condensate wells
B. Oil wells
C. Nuclear generators
D. Coal bed wells

9. From which country does the United States import most of its natural gas?

A. Canada
B. Mexico
C. China
D. Most CNG is produced domestically, not imported

10. At what age can a feral pig begin to reproduce?

A. 6 months
B. 1 year
C. 18 months
D. 15 years



Show us what you know! Win cash and prizes!

Cell phoneCell phones are used by more than 3 billion people worldwide.[1] From text-messaging teens in the United States to pre-paid phone users in developing nations, cell phones have revolutionized the way people connect with their world.

Despite their popularity, however, some argue for restrictions on cell phone use because of possible health and safety risks, especially among children and teens. Others say that the danger is minimal and that benefits provided by cell phones exceed their risks. Both sides point to scientific studies to bolster their conclusions about the safety of cell phone use.

Is it better to err on the side of safety and limit the use of cell phones, or is it more important to let users decide for themselves after weighing the risks? What kind of restrictions on mobile phone usage, if any, might be appropriate to protect human health given current scientific knowledge?

MichiganScience will award a cash prize of $500 to the student (in grades six-12) whose 500-word essay best explores the science surrounding the health effects of cell phones and compellingly advocates for or against restrictions limiting mobile phone use.

Runners-up will receive gift cards good for thousands of fun and interesting products from Edmund Scientific, a premier supplier of science kits and other educational materials.

All essays must be original, legible and no more than 500 words in length. Authors must be in grades six through 12. Each entry must include the attached submission form. The deadline for entries is April 1, 2009. Winners will be announced in May 2009. The winning essay will be published in the Summer 2009 issue of MichiganScience.