FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2018
Novozymes Sponsors NC Science Olympiad Citizen Science Project
(Raleigh, NC) – Novozymes commits to sponsoring Ant Picnic, a NC Science Olympiad Citizen Science project designed to inform scientists about the global food preferences of ants. The project encourages students to search for new game-changing species of fungi by participating in a fun, hands-on science investigation. Sponsorship support provided by Novozymes will be used to coordinate the statewide science project. According to NCSO Executive Director Kim Gervase, “We are very excited to bring this project to our teams. Too often, science facts are taught outside of experimentation. This project allows students to experience the exhilaration of discovery and we are excited to see what new species and information they find!”
Science Olympiad Ant Picnic will teach Science Olympiad students and NC State Applied Ecology scientists like Dr. Rob Dunn about the microbes and enzymes that are available on ants in nature. By some estimates, there are as many as a trillion microbial species on Earth, and yet fewer than two hundred of those species have been well-studied with regard to the benefits they offer. We rely on microbes to produce antibiotics, detergents, bread, yogurt, and much more. As we look to the future, the potential of microbes to offer ever more solutions to human society and daily life is great. Students will collect ants which naturally collect microbes, which leads to exponentially more data being collected in the team-effort approach of Citizen Science. Dr. Dunn will present the findings of the project and reveal any new species discovered at the NC Science Olympiad State Tournament on April 26, 2019 in Reynold’s Coliseum.
This project is of particular interest to Novozymes, “As a world leader in biotechnology, Novozymes wants to engage students in meaningful projects that inspire them to explore the power of biology.” Arlan Peters, Head of Sustainability continued, “Science is something that everyone should be able to participate in, regardless of education level or location in the world. Through citizen science, students see their individual and collective contributions to scientific research in a way that few other opportunities offer. Novozymes is fortunate to be able to partner with the NC Science Olympiad support this initiative.”
North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. Every year NCSO hosts tournaments on university, community college, and public school campuses across the state. In 2018, approximately 1,000 K-12 teams competed with over 18,000 students in 85 counties of North Carolina participating in NCSO activities. Learn more about NCSO at www.sciencenc.com.
North Carolina Science Olympiad sponsors include BASF, Cisco, Cree, Wolfspeed, North Carolina State University, SAS and Shurtape Technologies, LLC. Contact: Kim Gervase, NC Science Olympiad, (919) 515-9402, firstname.lastname@example.org.