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Merion Mercy Science Trio Triumphs

The 9th graders envisioned a new method of earthquake protection.

Merion Mercy Academy's winning team, from left, Emma Brown, Jodi Jansen, and Audrey Cooney

courtesy Merion Mercy Academy

Merion Mercy Academy's winning team, from left, Emma Brown, Jodi Jansen, and Audrey Cooney

A 9th grade team from Merion Mercy Academy in Merion Station, PA has won top regional honors in the 19th annual Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program. The program challenges students to design innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years.

As one of 24 regional winners, the team of Emma Brown, Audrey Cooney and Jodi Jansen, coached by Karen McClennen, advance to the competition’s national finals.

Ironically, against the backdrop of the Japanese earthquake-tsunami catastrophe, their entry, called "Parede Protection," describes “a new way to protect homes from the potentially devastating effects of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.”

The students envisioned using the “technology of protein-based ‘cell junctions,’ to weather proof houses,” saying that “the new homes will be flexible and sturdy, and literally able to bend, not break.”

As a regional winner, the Merion Mercy team will receive a Toshiba laptop for the school and each member will receive a camcorder.

National winning teams at each of four grade levels will receive $10,000 savings bonds. Second place teams will receive $5,000 savings bonds and the eight national winners will receive a trip to Washington with their families and coaches to a Washington, DC awards weekend in June.

The school will honor the team at a special awards assemble Thursday afternoon.

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