Question Sheet: Pollution Detective
- Are you worried about the quality of the drinking water in the area where
- How would you come up with an idea for a science fair project?
- Why are residents of Parkersburg, W.Va., worried about their water supply?
- How did Kelydra Welcker’s first science fair success help her with her most
- What are “endocrine disruptors”?
- What is APFO?
- Explain in your own words how Kelydra detected APFO in drinking water.
- Describe how Kelydra’s project might “do more than detect APFO in water . .
. . It might also help people remove the chemical from their water supply.”
- What does Kelydra’s story tell you about ways to succeed in science fairs?
- In what other directions could Kelydra expand or extend her project? What
more could she study? What sorts of questions could she try to answer?
- How do you think a chemical company such as DuPont would react to Kelydra’s
research and discoveries? See www2.dupont.com/PFOA/en_US/about_pfoa/index.html (DuPont).
What information does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provide about
PFOA? See www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
- Why are mosquitoes a good research subject? See science.howstuffworks.com/mosquito.htm (How Stuff Works) and
- How does an electrolytic cell work? What are some other uses for an
electrolytic cell? See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolytic_cell (Wikipedia) or www.sparknotes.com/chemistry/electrochemistry/
If people in your community were to discover that their drinking water is contaminated, what could they do to find out what caused the problem? How could they get the problem fixed? To see examples of how people in Parkersburg, W.Va., and elsewhere responded to such a situation, see www.enn.com/today.html?id=6949 (Environmental News Network),
www.ohiocitizen.org/campaigns/dupont_c8/dupont_c8.html (Ohio Citizen Action), and www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/pfoa.pfos.intro.html (Fluoride Action Network).
- Kelydra explained that it is important to be able to talk about science “in
sound bites, short and sweet . . . so that people can put the message in their
heads.” Write two “sound bites” about Kelydra’s project.
- Suppose that you are writing an article about Kelydra and her science fair
project for the local newspaper in Parkersburg, W.Va. Make a list of five
questions that you would ask Kelydra when you interview her.
A female mosquito lives for 150 days and lays a raft of 250 eggs every 15 days. How many eggs will she lay in her lifetime?