Reed pupil competes for top scientist title

The eighth-grader experimented with lead content in water.
HUBBARD -- A Reed Middle School pupil is one of 17 Ohio teenagers competing for the title of "America's Top Young Scientist of the Year."
Edward Zitnik, 14, of Hubbard, is the son of Ed and Ruth Zitnik. Ruth Zitnik replaced William Mullane as Warren G. Harding High School principal Aug. 1. The youth is joining more than 400 middle-school pupils from the U.S. and Puerto Rico as semifinalists in the 2006 Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge.
The competition, created by Discovery Communications, gives students the opportunity to test their knowledge and push their limits as they explore the world of science, said John Hendricks, founder and chairman of Discovery Communications.
"Each year, the breadth of knowledge demonstrated by the DCYSC's 400 semifinalists is inspiring and a bit humbling," Hendricks said. "These young men and women have the intelligence, energy, creativity and dedication to become the nation's scientific trailblazers of the future."
The 400 semifinalists were selected from a group of 1,900 formal entries chosen from a pool of 70,000 students who entered science fairs nationwide.
Other details
Zitnik's study was on lead content in water. He soaked a piece of ceramic glass in water to determine how it would affect the amount of lead in water.
On Sept. 14, the judges will narrow the semifinalists down to the final 40 competitors.
The finalists will then use their scientific knowledge to find solutions to this year's five-part challenge.
The students will be competing for the title of America's Top Young Scientist and more than $100,000 in scholarships.
Ohio ranked sixth in the number of semifinalists just behind Missouri and Utah, which had 18 pupils each.
Florida had the highest number of semifinalists with 36 pupils.
In 1999, Discovery created the DCYSC to help alleviate American pupils' under-achievement in science and math. The contest targets middle school pupils because of evidence that academic performance and interest in science among American pupils declines dramatically as students get older.
More than 13,000 children have entered the DCYSC since its inception eight years ago. Winners have received around $700,000 in scholarship awards and federal government recognition and have participated in science-related trips that have taken them to the far corners of the globe.
For more information on the challenge or to view the complete list of semifinalists, go to

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