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. Which comes first in the process of constructing a new mine?

A. A feasibility study.
B. Obtaining a core sample.
C. A general survey of a large region.
D. Filing exploration plans with the Department of Natural Resources.

2. Which of the following wouldn't be found in an exhibit on squamates?

A. Iguana.
B. Gecko.
C. Tree frog.
D. Python.

3. Complete this sentence: "Organic crops are ________."

A. Healthier than conventionally grown crops.
B. Contain no chemicals of any kind.
C. No different than other crops.
D. More popular now than they were several years ago.

4. Which state has the highest certified organic acreage? 

B. Delaware.
C. Alaska.
D. Mississippi.

5. What do researchers think to be responsible for bat deaths from white nose syndrome?

A. The rabies virus.
B. A potentially new kind of fungus.
C. Pesticide residues.
D. A cold-adapted variety of bacteria.

6. Which of the following is a type of sulfide rock mined in the Upper Peninsula?

A. Anthracite.
B. Jadeitite.
C. Chalcopyrite.
D. Psammite.

7. CFCs in inhalers have been replaced with HFAs. What is the role of these chemicals in the inhaler?

A. Treating the inflammation that causes asthma.
B. Reducing ozone in the lungs.
C. Propelling medicine into the lungs.
D. Improving taste.

8. Who defines what food products are considered "organic"?

A. State organic programs.
B. The National Organic Standards Board.
C. The United States Department of Agriculture.
D. The Food and Drug Administration.

9. Which of the following is a pollutant produced by combustion in coal plants?

A. Nitrogen dioxide.
B. Seaborgium.
C. Elemental carbon.
D. Paper litter.

10. Which of the following is considered before a new mine is built?

A. Quality of the orebody.
B. Economic feasibility.
C. Environmental safety.
D. All of the above.


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.