Question Sheet: Challenging the Forces of Nature


Before reading:

  1. What roles can science play in a natural disaster?
  2. What is the Discovery Channel, and why would this company sponsor a science


During reading:

  1. What sorts of problems did the finalists at this year’s Discovery Channel

    Young Scientists Challenge have to solve?

  2. How did students make waves for their “Tsunami Science” challenge?
  3. Why was it important for the students to create a video explaining their


  4. What was the theme for this year’s DCYSC competition? Why do you think this

    was chosen as the theme?

  5. Why was planning ahead important for completing the challenges in the


  6. What did Garrett Yazzie teach his teammates about communication?

After reading:

  1. Why do organizations sponsor science fairs and contests? How does it benefit

    both students and organizations?

  2. One of the things that the students said they learned is that planning is

    important in a disaster. How would you relate this observation to the recent

    response to Hurricane Katrina?

  3. Compare the description of this science contest with one of the other

    contests that Science News for Kids has reported on. How are the

    competitions similar and different? See

    ( or


  4. How is science important in cleaning up a natural disaster?
  5. Come up with a problem that might fit under the DCYSC theme of “Forces of

    Nature.” Describe what the students would have to do. How would you judge and

    score the results?


In the challenge “In Case of Emergency,” each team of students worked with a member of an organization known as Doctors Without Borders. What does this organization do? When was it founded? Where has it gone most recently to help in a natural disaster? See (Doctors Without Borders).


  1. The Discovery Channel will broadcast a program about the 2005 DCYSC on

    Sunday, Dec. 18, at 12 noon. Write the script for a short radio or TV segment

    advertising the program.

  2. Write a letter explaining why you should be invited to the DCYSC contest

    next year as a reporter.


About 75,000 students competed in regional or state science fairs across the United States this year. Of these students, 1,976 entered the 2005 DCYSC, 400 became semifinalists, and 40 were selected as finalists. What percentage of all students who entered a regional or state science fair became a DCYSC semifinalist? finalist?