N.M. - Jenna Parisien, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, designed a new
method to transport DNA, while Daniel Concho, Acoma Pueblo, proved
the power of the rhythm of Native drums to soothe and heal. Rachelle
Bill, Navajo, found tea tree oil more effective than synthetic
project has helped me decide what I want to do with my life,"
said Bill, junior at Fort Wingate High School in New Mexico.
among five grand prize winners, was among Native students attending
the 17th Annual National American Indian Science and Engineering
Fair, "Celebrating our Journey, Sharing our Vision," at
the Albuquerque Convention Center March 25 - 27.
Bill decided to research the effect of natural remedies for healing,
she first chose traditional Diné medicines.
was researching herbal medicines that Native Americans use. I wanted
to use my own traditional medicines, but my grandmother told me
I had to get permission from the medicine man, which I have now."
however, proceeded with her science experiment by using common remedies,
instead of focusing on ceremonial remedies.
grandmother suggested I use sage and pinon sap." Bill also
added tea tree oil, witch hazel, garlic and aloe for natural remedies.
titled her project "Natures Pharmacy," and compared
the ability of herbal medicines and synthetic pharmaceuticals to
kill two infections of the skin, Staphylococcus and E. coli.
discovered that tea tree oil was the most effective of the natural
and pharmaceutical remedies.
was more effective than synthetic medicines."
about her research, Bill said she learned more about traditional
medicines. Now, she feels strongly that the cure for cancer, HIV
and other diseases can be found in natures pharmacy. She said
only 25 percent of medicines are made from herbs today. Herbal medicines
hold a mystery that lures her. "No one knows what the effective
ingredients are, that is interesting," she said.
Parisien was presented with the problem of how to send DNA in a
less expensive way than in test tubes, which costs hundreds of dollars.
While working for a company, which sends DNA for bacteria research,
she spent nine months developing and perfecting a method, which
is now being patented.
devised a method of putting DNA into an ink cartridge. The DNA is
then sent in the form of ink as words in a letter. The cost is only
the price of postage to transport.
DNA is actually in the ink," said Parisien. The high school
senior at Turtle Mountain Community High School in North Dakota,
captured six awards and about $1,000 in cash. She plans a career
as a pediatrician.
Concho, a senior at Barstow High School in Barstow, Calif., wanted
to learn more about the effects of rhythm on healing.
began his science experiments in grade school with solar energy
research on algae and chlorophyll. In ninth grade, he began struggling
to find a new topic. While playing the drums one day, he began to
wonder what affect the rhythm of drums had on the body.
particles were perfect for the experiment.
dont have ears, they dont have minds, they just have
cells. They just do what they do," Concho said.
he said, "Drumming has the power to change the world."
his research, he chose yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerivisiae) and
two types of drum music.
the rock sounds, he chose Yanni and for the American Indian drummers,
he chose the sound of the White Cloud Singers from Barstow.
found out Native American drumming is healing. It caused the reproductive
rates of the yeast cells to slow down, to relax," Concho said.
When the yeast cells were exposed to rock music, the cells multiplied
prize winner Casey Chatfield, Chickasaw senior at Byng High School
in Ada, Okla., prepared to leave for home from Albuquerque with
a bag of awards, including the math test award, Intel award, AT&T
award and hundreds of dollars in cash awards.
researched carbon dioxide concentrations in classrooms. "Indoor
air quality is a major environmental risk that many people dont
1,000 parts per million, carbon dioxide can have an effect. "It
can effect concentration, simple tasks and memory." When carbon
dioxide levels reach 5,000 parts per million in stuffy, closed up
classrooms there is more harmful effects, including headaches and
Willie of Fort Wingate High School won for his environmentally-conscious
experiment. He researched the Exxon oil spill of the coast of Alaska.
Curious if E. coli and other bacteria would feed off of the oil
elements and help eliminate it, Willie discovered that this was
Davis, Turtle Mountain Chippewa from North Dakota and grand prize
alternate, explored the mechanisms of herbicides. "I found
out the 2-4D had the most destructive effect on the bacterial count
and plant life."
research on this selective herbicide is important, she said, because
farmers need to know how to kill weeds without killing crops, house
plants or animals.
is important for them to get rid of weeds and preserve the plant."
prize winners will be competing at the Intel International Science
and Engineering Fair in Portland, Ore. in May. The grand prize winners
were Bill, Willie, Chatfield, Parisien and Jillian Beaufeaus of
Cloquet, Minn. The alternates were Davis and Branyon Bullard of
St. Paul, Minn.
science and engineering fair was designed to showcase Native students
scientific talents and projects as well as to prepare American Indian
students for college. Students had the opportunity to learn how
to present science fair projects, write college admissions essay,
complete financial aid applications and identify potential colleges
and apply for scholarships.
said the entries were impressive. "These projects are a testament
to the strength, expertise and vision possessed by Native youth,
families and communities."
is a private, non-profit organization that nurtures building of
community by bridging science and technology with traditional Native
values. The fair, open to students in grades 5 - 12, supports the
advancement of mathematics, science and engineering.