National Park Service Award:

In 1916 the National Park Service was created to “…promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Since then a lot of new environmental, recreational, and even political issues have emerged, and the National Park Service of today operates in an ever changing world. Future scientists are some of the best suited to help the National Park Service evolve with these changes to continue conservation efforts.

The Park Service will select one project at the grades 9-12 level in line with our goals. The award will be an annual pass for admission to all National Parks, as well as a National Park backpack filled with books, movies, and other National Park surprises. Some ideas for science fair projects are listed below, but these are by no means the only types of projects we will consider.

A few ideas:

  1. How can we make National Parks or the world in general more “green”?
  2. How will climate change affect exotic plants and their interactions with native plants or the ecosystem in Alaska?
  3. Design a better bear proof garbage can or a bear proof backpack/tent or other camping gear for use in National Parks and throughout Alaska.
  4. How does human disturbance or use of land/resources affect soil, plants, or animals in parks?
  5. How are animal populations in parks affected by encroaching urbanization?
  6. How would National Parks be affected by increased visitation? What are some solutions?
  7. How do people’s lifestyles at home affect the health of National Parks?

For more information about the National Park Service and our mission: and

(Description provided by the National Park Service 2012)