2019 International Competition

Congratulations to all of our State Competitors for a job well done at Apollo High School in St. Cloud, this past Saturday, March 30, 2019.

Best wishes to those who will be going on to compete at the International Competition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, June 5-9, 2019.

The International topic that students will be tackling is De-Extinction.

From woolly mammoths to saber-tooth cats, to passenger pigeons and dodos, to a myriad of insects and invertebrates, many species have become extinct over time. New scientific advancements are leading to unprecedented uses of fossilized materials. Could these archaeological discoveries combined with scientific breakthroughs lead to the long awaited, long speculated, realizations of de-extinction? De-extinction, also called resurrection biology, is the process of resurrecting species that have died out, or gone extinct. 

De-extinction is a controversial proposition that has split scientists. Supporters argue that keystone species brought back from extinction will restore environmental equilibrium and provide beacons of hope. Opponents argue that endangered species will receive less attention as they could more easily be brought back from extinction. Where will these revived species be housed and what impact will they have on an already changed habitat?

Technology to revive extinct species is close to being perfected, but does this mean that it should actually be used? What are the ethical pros and cons of reintroducing extinct animals? What limits should be placed on the use of such technology? Should scientists use this to undo environmental harm that has occurred? How might these restored species affect our current biosphere? How might living among de-extinct species affect humanity?

Students from Centennial, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Forest Lake, and Lester Prairie Schools will be the Minnesota FPS representatives at the International Conference. They will join nearly 2,000 other students from all over the world to determine the underlying problem, to brainstorm solution ideas, to develop and apply criteria to their top ideas and then to create a plan of action to address this issue of De-extinction.

Congratulations and best wishes to all of our International Competitors!