Pangaea theory wins out


  • Randy Showstack


Iliana Jäätmaa may not fully understand how plate tectonics work. But the eighth grader at Walkersville Middle School in Walkersville, Maryland,created an award-winning desktop model of Pangaea that works by strings, levers, rubber bands, and other basic items.

The “simple elegance” of plywood cutout land masses gliding atop a 32″×20″ board, with the help of 2 C-size batteries, earned her top honors in the group of 6th to 9th graders in this year's Duracell/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) scholarship competition. For her creation, “Pangaea, A World in Motion,” she also received a $20,000 U.S.savings bond.