Here’s a description about a young scholar’s recognition in a prestigious science contest, from the Croton-Harmon School District:
Congratulations to Croton-Harmon High School (CHHS) senior Chris Traver for being named a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search (STS). The Intel STS is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Since 1942, first in partnership with Westinghouse and beginning in 1998 with Intel, the search has provided a national stage for the country’s best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.
Chris’ project, titled “Investigating Noise Pollution Using Smart Phones and Citizen Scientists,” focused on identifying areas where outside noise frequency infringes on the quality of life. For his project, Chris enlisted the help of 26 classmates who were equipped with smart phones and the application White Noise. Each student was asked to record various noise samples from the different areas to which they were dispatched, which included Croton, Ossining, Cortlandt and Peekskill. Using this information, Chris created a noise map. He also looked at the behavioral aspect of noise pollution, interviewing his helpers and determining that they were definitely affected by the study, and they became more aware of the noise pollution occurring around them on an everyday basis as a result of this study.
“I wanted to conduct research using inexpensive technology that would equip people who are not necessarily experts in this field of study to collect relevant data that can be used for a greater purpose,” said Chris, who was inspired by reports of concern in the downtown Peekskill area, where residents have complained about noise generated by nearby open air restaurants and taverns. His data confirms this, and he is open to sharing his research with local officials if it will bring the business, government and residential communities together to come to a fair resolution.
For his work, Chris received a $1,000 award from Intel and the CHHS Science Research Program receives a $1,000 award as well. He studied under the mentorship of his science research teacher at Croton-Harmon High School, Donna Light-Donovan, and conducted his project through the Citizen Science League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible scientific research through active participation, networking and publishing by science enthusiasts of varying levels of education and experience. Chris also secured two mentors, Dr. Jules White, a computer scientist/artist at Virginia Tech, and Croton resident Dr. Kenneth Laudon, a retired professor of Information Systems at NYU. “Investigating Noise Pollution Using Smart Phones and Citizen Scientists,” has also been entered in the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF), a regional competition for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), and several other local science competitions.