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Record number of Bay Area teams gear up to Explore the Volcano!

Press Release Date 
Monday, 2 February, 2009
With their eyes on the prize, nearly 400 Bay Area students have already lined up to compete in the 22nd annual Tech Challenge, focused this year on the study of volcanoes, one of the world's deadliest natural disasters. The Tech Museum of Innovation's signature science and technology program challenges students from grades 5-12 to create a solution to a real-world problem. This year's challenge: to design a safe, low-cost, effective way to study volcanoes. Participants must design a simple delivery device to transport sensor packages to the heart of a volcano. Worldwide, there are 1,500 potentially active volcanoes with 20 erupting at any given time. One out of ten people live in areas directly threatened by volcanoes. "Tech Challenge introduces and reinforces the scientific process to students," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. "They are also exposed to a host of learning skills that will prove valuable throughout their entire lives; skills such as collaboration and teamwork, troubleshooting and problem-solving." For over 20 years, Tech Challenge has allowed some 12,000 youth from elementary, middle and high schools throughout Northern California and other regions to hone their creativity and innovation on challenges that included building devices to fight wildfires, remove invasive fish from a lake, explore an Egyptian tomb and to survey craters on Mars. This year, registration has more than tripled when compared to the same time last year said Bill Fisher, Tech Challenge program director, who added that unusually high interest this year should make for a particularly fascinating event come April. "With so many students already on board you can bet that we'll see some very intriguing and exciting methods to respond to the challenge," Fisher said. "As the challenge continues to grow, we'll see a plethora of innovative ideas generated by these young minds. More and more, students are seeing that the Tech Challenge is educational, motivational and fun!" Students' efforts are recognized and celebrated during Tech Challenge Day, scheduled for April 25, 2009 at Parkside Hall, adjacent to The Tech Museum. Awards include: Best Overall Solution, Most Spectacular Failure, Best Team Name, Teamwork Award, Judges Choice, and Inspirational Awards. Mark your calendars for these upcoming clinics and sessions: February 7th & 8th: Info Clinic Two Sessions to choose from: 10:30am && 1:30pm each day Advisor Training 1:30pm each day Judges Training 1:30pm each day Final registration deadline: March 20th: March 21, 22, 28 and 29, 2009 Advisor Training Two Sessions to choose from: 10:30am & 1:30pm each day Judges Training Two Sessions to choose from: 10:30am & 1:30pm each day Challenge Trials 10am - 3pm each day Test your design! Ask questions of the judges! See other teams' works in progress. EVENT DAY April 25, 2009 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Parkside Hall For More Information For information on this year's Tech Challenge and how to sign up, go to techchallenge.thetech.org/. About Tech Challenge The annual Tech Challenge, a signature event of The Tech Museum, provides youth with an opportunity to apply technology to solve real world solutions. Leading underwriters are Cadence and Brocade. Other corporate sponsors include Intel, SAP, Yahoo!, American Honda Foundation, Symantec, The Tech Museum's Emeritus Board, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, David H. Liu Foundation, SanDisk, ScholarShare, AMD, IBM, Tyco Electronics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Xilinx, Inc. and SDForum TechWomen's Program. For more information about the Tech Challenge or to register a team, go to techchallenge.thetech.org/ or call (408) 795-6105. About The Tech Museum of Innovation The Tech Museum of Innovation, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary at its current location, is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech Museum - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs, the internationally recognized Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., and the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum, visit www.thetech.org. Contact: Roqua Montez Senior Manager Public Relations (408) 795-6225 rmontez@thetech.org