APPLY FOR AN ACLU CIVIL LIBERTIES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AWARD

The 56th Annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair will be held on March 23 – 28, 2010 at the Balboa Park Activity Center.

For a second year, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties is offering three prizes for projects that generate interest and heighten awareness among students for civil liberties in science and engineering.

Program Description
The ACLU invites students participating at the Senior Level of the 2010 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair to apply for our Civil Liberties in Science and Technology Award. Successful participants will use their interest and skill in science and engineering to develop projects that directly incorporate the concepts of protecting and preserving – or reducing harm to – civil liberties.

Awards
There are two types of awards – one technical award that directly incorporates the concepts of civil liberties as part of the research and/or end science fair product and two project-based essay awards that address a civil liberties challenge related to the science fair project.

  • Technical award – $1,000 for the winning project that uses scientific or engineering techniques to incorporate the concepts of civil liberties directly as part of the research and/or end product and incorporates these elements in an essay. We are seeking projects that can impact civil liberties; for example, projects that develop systems that protect fundamental rights or envision solutions to civil liberties dilemmas or address a theory that adds to the understanding of a civil liberties dilemma. Who Can Apply
    The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties encourages senior level students at the 2009 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair to apply for the ACLU’s Civil Liberties in Science Awards.

    Judges
    The ACLU has assembled a panel of qualified judges who are highly regarded in their respective scientific and engineering fields. To date the committed judges include:

    Submission Requirements
    To be eligible for either award, students must:

    1. have a Science and Engineering project accepted for the 2010 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair
    2. submit only one Civil Liberties Project
    3. complete the project on their own, though students are free to consult with others. If they do so, they must give credit to those who have helped them.

    Essay Submission
    For both technical and project-based essay awards, students should electronically submit a Civil Liberties Essay by May 5, 2010 that includes:

    • a title page (project title, student’s name and email address, name of high school, and the names and affiliations of others who helped
    • up to five pages of text (including any figures, graphs, tables or drawings)
    • one page bibliography
    • Font and page margins: any standard font, 12 points or larger, 8.5×11″ paper with 1″ margins. Your submission should be prepared using standard word processing software and/or sent in PDF format.

    Judging Criteria – Technical Submissions
    Applications will be evaluated for completeness and relevance to the following criteria:

    1. Meets the judging standards set out in Section 3 of the 2010 GSDSEF Rules & Regulations including for creativity, scientific thought, engineering project goals or computer goals.
    2. Uses science or engineering methods to execute a project that addresses a civil liberties challenge that is of concern in the area of science or engineering.
    3. Identifies and addresses a civil liberties challenge that is of concern in the area of science relating to the student’s science fair project.
    4. Explicitly identifies civil liberties principles that are at stake.
    5. Identifies those who are at risk of some harm due to the conduct of or products of the science in question, and the stakes of these people in the outcome.
    6. Recommends one or more clear courses of action.
    7. Considers relevant published work and provides a bibliography.

    Judging Criteria – Project-Based Essay Submissions
    Reviewers knowledgeable in civil liberties issues will evaluate projects according to how well they meet the following criteria:

    1. Identifies and addresses a civil liberties challenge that is of concern in the area of science relating to the student’s science fair project.
    2. Explicitly identifies civil liberties principles that are at stake.
    3. Identifies those who are at risk of some harm due to the conduct of or products of the science in question, and the stakes of these people in the outcome.
    4. Recommends one or more clear courses of action.
    5. Considers relevant published work and provides a bibliography.

    What Are Civil Liberties?
    Civil liberties are our rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and our Constitution–the guiding principles of our democratic government. Civil liberties include First Amendment rights, equal protection of the law, due process of the law, and the right to privacy, among others. In simpler terms, civil liberties are freedom, fairness, justice, equality, and the rule of law for all.

    Examples of Civil Liberties in Science and Engineering
    Scientific and technological advancements have brought pleasure, convenience, health, and efficiency to modern society. But these modern advances have also created the means to reduce or contravene the civil liberties we enjoy and take for granted, particularly the right to privacy, the right to dissent, and free association. And conversely, too little attention has been paid to ways that scientific discoveries and new technologies can solve or improve both newly invented or age-old civil liberties threats.
    A scientific field with great potential civil liberties implications is stem cell research. For example, a bioscience company has succeeded in deriving the cells from embryos without destroying the embryo, and others have begun to assemble evidence that it is possible to sprout human embryonic stem cells from something other than a human embryo.

    Technology has helped to advance civil liberties in many positive ways. Some of the most exciting and pioneering advancements are technologies that empower people with disabilities to be full participants in society, such as devices that move computer cursors by tracking eye movements. Another ripe area for innovations is privacy protection tools, such as encryption devices that protect emails from identity thieves and government snooping. Camera surveillance can invade privacy, but it can also serve to protect people’s rights, such as dashboard cameras in police squad cars that videotape police-civilian interactions and prove or disprove allegations of abuse.

    Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair Website

    http://www.gsdsef.org/home.asp

    Program Description: Technical Award

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