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Garden City student places second in Young Scientist Challenge

Caroline Crouchley, left, an eighth-grader at Garden City

Caroline Crouchley, left, an eighth-grader at Garden City Middle School, placed second in this year's 3M Young Scientist Challenge and was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. She is with her mentor, Kandyce Bohannon of 3M. Credit: Garden City School District

A Garden City Middle School student's idea for a sustainable method of public transportation that uses renewable energy sources has placed second in a national science competition.

Caroline Crouchley, an eighth-grader, took the runner-up spot in the 2019 Young Scientist Challenge, a science and engineering competition for middle schoolers administered by Discovery Education and 3M. The challenge asked youth to submit videos describing unique solutions to everyday problems.

Crouchley's two-minute video depicted a new train prototype that moves through its connection to a magnetic shuttle located inside a pneumatic tube sitting alongside the track. The project, titled "Improving Lives: A Light at the End of the Tunnel," was inspired by the large amount of traffic on Long Island.

"It really made me think about the quality of the air I am breathing," Crouchley said of local traffic. "Reducing transportation emissions is one of the most important steps in fighting air pollution and global warming."

Before placing second, Crouchley was named one of 10 national finalists, which came with a $1,000 prize, and then worked over the summer with a 3M mentor before participating in a final series of challenges and presenting her innovation last month in Minnesota. 

"Her ingenuity in addressing a real-world environmental concern is inspiring and promising for the future of global sustainability," Garden City School District Superintendent Kusum Sinha said.

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