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    MARCH 2, 2006
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8-year-old studies planaria

hone school

Eight-year-old Mark Aris (left) proudly shows the blue ribbon he won at the recent Greater Philadelphia Homeschool Science Fair to biology department chair Shohreh Amini (center) and biology lab coordinator Harry Riley during a campus visit Feb. 22.

Mark, who placed first in grade three for his project, “Planaria: Light or Dark,” received mentoring and guidance from December biology graduate Alimatou Minkeu, adjunct professor Seema Freer and Riley.
It is the third year that Temple’s biology department has assisted Mark.

While studying how light affects the rate of regeneration in planaria, Mark, who wants to someday be a marine biologist, said he learned that they “regenerate in the dark because it’s easier to find food and hide from their enemies.” He added that the most fun part of the project was looking at the planaria under the microscope to see if they had regenerated.

Also competing in the Homeschool Science Fair were the son and three daughters of chemistry department chair and Center for Advanced Photonics Research director Robert Levis. Robert Jr., 9, also placed first in grade three with Aris; while Mary Grace, 11, Megan, 13, and Claire, 15, won second or third place awards in grades five, seven and nine respectively.

- Preston M. Moretz

A second attempt at FIRST


Members of the Temple University–Carver High School FIRST team fine-tune their robot for the 2006 Philadelphia FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Regional Competition, March 30–April 1.

This is the second year that Carver has been participating in the FIRST competition with Temple’s support and sponsorship.

Eight Carver students have been working with five Temple engineering students to design and build their 34-inch by 32-inch by 48-inch robot under the supervision of John Helferty, associate professor of the electrical and computer engineering department and adviser to the Temple-Carver FIRST team.

In addition to the University, the team has also received sponsorship from the Johnson & Johnson and NASA. Described as “equal parts NASA launch, NCAA Finals and rock concert,” FIRST — the nation’s largest high school robotics competition — was founded in 1989 as a fun and competitive way to develop critical skills in science and technology among high school students. Forty-five teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Ohio will compete in the Philadelphia regional.

- Preston M. Moretz

School for Deaf students cheer on Temple

school for the deaf
Photo by Ryan Brandenberg/Temple University Photography

Students from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, many of whom participate in sports and enjoy basketball, attended last Friday’s women’s basketball game against Rhode Island — the last of the team’s regular season.

Twenty-five students and five staff members attended from the school, which is located in Philadelphia. The students’ trip was part of PSD’s Friday Night Live, a safe-harbor program supported by the city’s Department of Human Services.

“Seeing the Temple women’s basketball team play is such an inspiration [for our students] because seeing college students continuing in basketball gives them a goal to reach,” said Vicki DiFrederico, program coordinator for Friday Night Live. “Hopefully, that goal will help lead them to college.”

The women’s basketball team ended their regular season 21-7, ranked No. 17. They clinched the No. 3 seed for the Atlantic 10 Tournament and will face the winner of the Dayton/Rhode Island game on Saturday, March 4, at 6 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s.

Founder’s Celebration set for March 25

founders day

The General Alumni Association’s longstanding annual tradition, Founder’s Dinner, has become Founder’s Celebration, the new format to include a light reception and awards program, followed by a large party featuring themed food stations, heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, as well as dancing and entertainment.

The new format will allow more flexibility for guests to mingle with additional alumni and friends. Masters of ceremonies for the awards program will be Channel 10 news team anchors and Temple alumni Tracy Davidson and Vince DeMentri.

As always, the event honors 17 Certificate of Honor awardees, alumni from each of the University’s schools and colleges who has distinguished themselves in their fields, as well as four additional awards, the Stauffer Award for Outstanding Faculty Service; the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the GAA’s highest alumni honor; the Russell H. Conwell Award, for outstanding University service by a non-alumnus or alumna; and the F. Eugene Dixon Jr. Inspiration Award, for outstanding support of the University’s student athletics program.

The Temple University reunion classes of 1956 and 1981, celebrating their silver and gold anniversaries, gather privately before the event and are also recognized that evening.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets.
When: March 25. Reception at 6 p.m.; awards at 7 p.m.; party at 8 p.m.
Cost: $90 per person. Complimentary parking. Black tie optional.

Register by March 15. For more information and to reserve, contact the Alumni Center at