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31 May 2013

Spanish and German Students Win Prizes for Wi-Fi Experiments in 2012

Caroline Schick
Following publication of the article on the Danish school girls’ experiment with cress and Wi-Fi, readers have drawn our attention to two similar experiments undertaken by Spanish and German students of the same age group in 2012. These students also won prizes for their science projects. Here they are:

Tecnópole Classroom Students receive prize “Es de libro” in competition with more than 3,400 students across Spain
Tecnópole, 21 May 2012
Martin Alvarez and Queila Bouza
Queila Bouza and Martin Alvarez, students at Tecnópole and 4th of ESO in IES O Couto de Ourense, were winners of the event "Es de libro” with their scientific research on the influence of radiation emitted by mobile devices such as mobile or wireless routers on seed germination and plant growth. The two students, who will receive the award on Saturday from the Minister of Education, José Ignacio Wert, concluded that there is a direct influence on the germination process. Seed fertility was higher in the case of those not exposed to radiation.
The project was developed as part of the Tecnópole Classrooms training program and innovative scientific skills organized by the Technological Park of Galicia and funded by the Ministry of Economy and Industry. A total of 3,441 students, presenting 517 projects, participated from all over Spain in the event, organized by the Spanish Reproduction Rights (CEDAR) with support from the Ministry of Education.

The jury consisted of intellectuals from different fields, such as scientist Margarita Salas, economist Tamames Ramon, writers Carme Riera and Juan Cruz Iguerabide and philosopher Javier Sádaba. The jury’s decision, taken unanimously, was based on the recognition of the "excellent quality of the work presented, originality in approach and implementation, respect for intellectual property rights and the research effort conducted by the authors."

Outreach Initiatives

Tecnópole Classrooms are an initiative of the Technological Park of Galicia to boost scientific disclosure that aims to awaken in boys and girls curiosity and concern about a future scientific career they can orient toward or to attitudes and skills of innovative entrepreneurship.

As part of this initiative, students spend one afternoon a week at Tecnópole, where they carry out their projects in a team, assisted by a group of trainers with extensive experience teaching and developing programs of this nature. The students, all from the second cycle of secondary and high school, receive training on the guidelines to be followed for rigorous scientific research.

Original article in Spanish: "Estudiantes de las Aulas Tecnópole se hacen con el premio ‘Es de libro’ en competición con más de 3.400 alumnos de toda España". :

Another student Wi-Fi experiment: Wi-Fi may kill mealworms
(Electromagnetic Radiation Safety), 8 March 2012

Strange, what
Caroline Schick has built in her basement. A flower box full of mealworms has been placed next to a wireless router.

The 19-year-old did not allow the mealworms access to the Internet. The whole thing was an experiment conducted by Caroline for "Young Scientists" which gained her first place in the regional competition.

Here is the explanation of the experimental setup:

Caroline wanted to find out whether the radiation of a wireless router (used for wireless internet) is harmful. She selected mealworms because they are very sensitive as they develop into beetles. If the radiation has effects on living organisms, she must be able to observe it in mealworms.

Caroline bought 100 mealworms in a pet shop and placed them in a flower box next to a wireless router. For comparison, she made a second flower box full of worms so far away that the wi-fi radiation did not reach these animals.

After the meal worms had pupated and turned into beetles, "The death rate in the exposed animals was about 19 percent higher," says Caroline.

(Thanks to Safer Phone Day for bringing this to my attention. The original article is in German. I paraphrased above the Google translation.)

Original article in German:  "Nur das Siegerstrahlen ist gesund" :

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