Southern Arizona Chapter of IDA (SA-IDA)

"Light Pollution" - The Only Pollution that Costs More to Perpetuate than to Eliminate!






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Science Fair Awards - School Year 2005-2006

 We all know about the importance of Light Pollution.  Now it's also becoming a topic for students competing in the Southern Arizona Science Fair.  Members of the Southern Arizona Section of the International Dark-Sky Association scoured the rows of over 1,400 projects at the fair, and found several dealing with Light Pollution and outdoor Lighting.  Four excellent exhibits were found and cash prizes and gift certificates were awarded to each of these projects.

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Our First Place Award went to Carter, an 8th grade student from Doolen Middle School. His “Light Pollution over Tucson and How to Measure It” project was very professional and detailed, measuring sky brightness using several different sky brightness meters from different areas in and around Tucson and comparing the results.  Carter used the same locations and data from last years science project and was able to take many more readings with new instrumentation and make detailed comparisons using several different types of sky brightness meters.


Our Second Place Award went to Kaley, a 7th grade student at Tucson Hebrew Academy.  Her "Starlight Star Bright!  How Many Foot Candles Do I Need To See At Night" project was a study to see how low levels of light affected your vision.  Measurements were taken at 20 feet with different light intensities to measure 20/100, 20/80, 20/40, and 20/20 vision.  She discovered that very low levels of light were needed to be able to see reasonably well.



An Honorable Mention Award went to Ygnacio, an 8th grade student at Wakefield Middle School.  His "Light Reflects" Project delt with testing different materials to see how light reflects off of them.  He used the sun as his light source.  Although this project didn't address light pollution directly, reflection of light is a very important subject when dealing with outdoor lighting sources as some of the light is often reflected upwards into the sky from an outdoor light..



An Honorable Mention Award went to Garrett, a 4th grade student at Coyote Trail Elementary School.  His "Which Color Is Safest At Night, Which Color Is Safest" Project explored several colors of clothing to see which one is easiest to see at night with different lighting levels.  He found out that not only white but yellow and pink are easy to see and yellow is the best.



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