Local Tech Wire

BOWIE, Md. and CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Young people are naturally curious about the world and nature, and they love learning about science. and are two exciting new summer contests that challenge young people to discover science for themselves and encourage their peers to do the same.

These first annual contests are a joint project of and . Several noted science-book authors and corporate sponsors have donated an array of prizes to be awarded in various categories for each age group.

Joanne Manaster is well known to the online community for her enthusiastic science outreach.

"These contests are happening entirely online," she explained. "Today’s social-networking tools really engage young people and are a great way to spread excitement about science."

Jeff Shaumeyer is program director for Scienticity.net, the public science-education program of , a non-profit organization with a mission of increasing science literacy. He said developing a reading habit as a youngster is essential to becoming a life-long learner.

“We want to see young people start down that path,” Shaumeyer added. “Likewise, our contestants, through the book videos they put online for others to see, encourage their peers to read about science for themselves."

KidsReadScience is for ages 8 through 12; TeensReadScience is for ages 13 through 18. Anyone may submit one entry (in English), although prize distribution is currently restricted to locations in the U.S. and its territories.

Entries deadline is 11 p.m. central time on Sept. 22.

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