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Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 02-10 - February 8, 2002

Bayer/NSF Competition Winners To Be Featured on Oprah Winfrey Show Feb. 11

Photo of 4 students and coach of project, Rez Protectors
Recent Bayer/NSF Award winners

The middle school students who are the most recent winners of the Bayer/NSF Award’s Columbus Foundation Community Grant will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Feb. 11, 2002. The team of Native American girls from Crow Agency, Montana -- Lucretia Birdinground, Kimberly Duputee, Omney Sees the Ground, Brenett Stewart -- and their coach, science teacher Jack Joyce, were taped at the Crow Reservation on Feb. 4 and will appear in the front row of the studio audience for the Feb. 11 show.

The girls developed a project based on their concern for the severe housing shortage on their reservation and the chance to compete in the Bayer/NSF Awards for Community Innovation. The girls found a way to build low-cost houses out of straw and stucco concrete. The girls tested the straw with blowtorches, hoses and thermometers to determine its resistance to fire and water, as well as its energy efficiency.

As a result of the team’s award, a number of community partners have volunteered to bring the girls’ idea to life. In July of this year, the team and partners will build a straw-bale community center on the Crow Reservation in Montana. The team, through the Bayer/NSF Award, also receives mentoring and assistance in implementing the project.

The Columbus Community Grant is awarded each year to a team of innovative middle school students to help bring a promising project to fruition. The sponsors, the Bayer Corporation, the National Science Foundation and the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, challenge everyday kids to use science and technology to identify and develop a solution to a community problem.

For more information see:



National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: 703-292-8070
FIRS: 800-877-8339 | TDD: 703-292-5090

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