David Rodeback's Blog

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Thursday, March 16, 2006
Prizewinning Science and Verse Bring Glory to AF High

Granted, the Intel Science Talent Search and KUER's limerick contest are on somewhat different scales, but American Fork High School can boast of winning both this week.

These two items are not even remotely of the same magnitude, but both find American Fork High School basking in deserved glory.

First, student Shannon Babb just won -- as in won, as in she's coming home with a $100,000 scholarship -- the Intel Science Talent Search, the nation's most prestigious science fair for high school students. See stories in the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune. Serious congratulations are in order. I have seen phases of her winning project at local science fairs for years.

Second, AFHS teacher Sam Beeson just won KUER's "First (and Probably Only) Limerick Contest." Genuine but perhaps less solemn congratulations are in order. Not everyone can write a good limerick. See his winning entry and selected other entries -- some of which are quite good -- here. Word on the street is that Beeson's winner wasn't even his best entry.

I have a certain sentimental attachment to both these items.

Long ago and not so very far away (Idaho), back when the Intel Science Talent Search was the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, I received honorable mention for creating a computer tool to assist a certain kind of mathematical research. In perspective, "honorable mention" means that I wasn't even remotely in the winners' league.

As to limericks, I've written some and once even inflicted a limerick contest on party guests in my home. I once wrote most of an annual Christmas letter in limerick stanzas, but never finished it or sent it. The loss to the literary world is infinitesimal. (Translation: immeasurably small, practically zero.)

But back to the matters at hand. Congratulations to the worthy winners. They are some of our best.

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