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Pupil tests the waters of a career in science


A YEARLONG SCIENCE project testing four Carroll County bodies of water won Steven Cohen first place in the Environmental Sciences division of the annual Frederick County Science and Engineering Fair held recently.

Steven said Carroll's water source issues - because of tremendous growth and a disagreement with Baltimore County over a watershed pact - "sparked my attention" and inspired the project.

He called the analysis of local water "What is the Best Source of Potable Drinking Water in Carroll County?"

Steven, a seventh-grader at the Banner School in Frederick, tested Piney Run Lake, Morgan Run Stream, Gillis Falls Stream and Big Pipe Creek for temperature, pH, phosphates, nitrates, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, E. coli and total coliforms.

He performed the testing over the course of a year to determine whether changing temperatures and seasons affect water quality. He concluded that Piney Run Lake would be the best source of drinking water in the county.

Steven lives in Taylorsville with his parents, Larry and Bonnie Cohen, and his sister, Danielle. He isn't sure if his future includes a career in biochemistry or technology science, "but definitely in the field of science," he said.

Steven's project earned him an honorable mention from the American Society for Microbiology and a certificate of merit from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers for the best exhibit in the Environmental Sciences or Engineering category.

He will enter his project this summer in the Discovery Young Scientist Challenge 2001, a national science contest for middle school pupils, and the U.S. State Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition.

Plans are under way for Steven's next science project. He hopes to continue his research on local water sources, this time testing for antibiotic and E. coli levels and their relationship to runoff from local farming operations.

Steven is grateful for the help and encouragement he received from his science teacher Leslie Alpert, his mentor and neighbor Ellsworth Acker and Steven Nelson from the Carroll County Water Resources Planning Division.

Town history

The Historical Society of Mount Airy will present the first in a series of talks on "Historical Sites of the Area" at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mount Airy firehouse.

Tuesday's presentation will feature history on the Robert Garrett Sanatorium. Closed in the 1920s, the sanatorium was a summer hospital for Baltimore-area children. The facility was on North Main Street, across from where Mount Airy Elementary School is today. The land was later used for housing.

The historical society invites the public to attend the presentation of a piece of Mount Airy history that has disappeared.

Anyone with pictures, newspaper articles or memorabilia related to the building is encouraged to attend.

The society's Mount Airy Museum, at Park Avenue and Main Street, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday.

The firehouse is at 702 N. Main St. Enter the building from the lower level in the rear.

Information: 301-829-1424 or 410-795-6012.

Holiday observance

American Legion Gold Star Post 191 will hold its annual Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. Monday at Pine Grove Chapel and Cemetery, South Main Street, Mount Airy.

Legion officials said the holiday should be regarded as a solemn and patriotic event, rather than just a time for a picnic and a day off from school or work. The ceremony provides a chance to learn about the meaning of Memorial Day.

Legion spokesman Arthur Brett encourages veterans, Scouts, parents with school-age children and the public to attend.

The event will begin with raising the U.S. flag to full and then half-staff. Post Commander Phillip Overholtzer will lead those in the chapel in the Pledge of Allegiance and a short program.

After the service of prayers, songs and an address by a speaker, a wreath will be placed between the two monuments in front of the chapel and Marines will fire a 21-gun salute.

Brett recommends arriving early for a leisurely walk through the cemetery and time to reflect.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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