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Episode 3 Winners 1997

solution: mercury from the bath compass

Below is the final list of winners for Episode 3. To make up for a processing error, we've expanded the total number of winners from 5 to 10 for each category.

The winners of the Grand Prize Drawing for individual entrants and Grand Prize Drawing for classroom entrants will be announced next week on Wednesday, November 12, 1997. You don't have to be on any of the winner's lists to win the Grand Prize. You just need to have submitted a correct answer, as an individual or a classroom, for one of the episodes.

Click on a name, below, to see how these entrants explained the mystery.

Individual Winners

Tim Frisch
Calvert Hall College High School
grade: 9

Angie Lambert
Lake Stevens High School grade: 10

Kirin Fried-Boxt
NVRHS Demarest
grade: 12

Kristin Miller
Staples High School
grade: 9

Derek Monthei
Lutheran Highshool North
grade: 11

Dan Vecchi & Bryan Augustyniak
Staples High School
grade: 11

Jason Allen
Northern Valley Regional High School - Demarest
grade: 12

Philip Mangiat
NVRHS Demarest
grade: 12

Andrea K. Knight
Cleveland Heights High school
grade: 12

Eva Rule
Lake Stevens High School
grade: 10

Individual entry prizes include Genentech posters, T-shirts and bookmarks. We'll be in touch with you guys to award your prizes.

Remember, if your name is not on this list, but you did submit a correct answer for any one of the mystery episodes, come back Wednesday, November 12, 1997 to find out if you will be awarded the individual grand prize of $250.

Classroom Winners

DLBHS 1st Period Biology Class
Des Lacs-Burlington H.S.
grade: 9-10

Period 2 Honors Biology Class
Presque Isle (Maine) High School
grade: 10

Ms. Sams Period 1
John P. Stevens High School
grade: 10

Period 7 Human Biology Class
Presque Isle (Maine) High School
grade: 11th and 12th

Elliott's 9/10th grade Biology Honors class
Mayo High School
grade: 9th/10th

1st hour Biology--Mrs. Osborn
Sacred Heart Griffin High School
grade: 10

2nd hour Biology--Mrs. Osborn
Sacred Heart Griffin High School
grade: 10

Class of Amy Wissekerke/Marjorie Maxey
Western Albemarle High School, VA
grade: 10

Sean Dalton, Scott Hildreth
Lk. Stevens High School
grade: 10/11

Jason Sweeney
West Mifflin Area High School
grade: 11

Classroom entry prizes include a Genentech T-shirt, mousepad and poster and a class set of "DNA Fingerprint" bookmarks. We'll be in touch with you guys to award your prizes.

Remember, if your classroom is not on this list, but your classroom did submit a correct answer for any one of the mystery episodes, come back Wednesday, November 12, 1997 to find out if you will be awarded the classroom grand prize of $1,000.

Explanations

Tim Frisch
Calvert Hall College High School
grade: 9
explanation: The entire crew was affected by the Mercury from the Bath Compass. The Compass was sitting on the stove, a place where much of the crew was sure to have gathered. We know that Mercury evaporates and can be inhaled as particles in the air and also absorbed through the skin. The symptoms of the crew match the ones that are characteristics of Mercury poisoning. Therefore, I conclude that the crew suffered from Mercury poisoning. Lt. Harding did not get Mercury poisoning because in the diary entries, the writer stated that the Lt. spent most of his time away from the kitchen area, and only did come for a few minutes when he was finally persuaded.

Angie Lambert
Lake Stevens High School
grade: 10
explanation: I think that the crew was affected by the mercury in the compass bath. It mentioned that mercury evaporated after sit- ting for a period of time. I think that the mercury from the compass bath evaporated into the air that the crew breathed and they inhaled it. The captain was complaining about someone stealing the mercury from the compass bath, but it wasn't stolen, it just evaporated. No one realized this, so the whole crew was exposed to it. The only person who was not affected was Lt. Harding because he spent most of his time outside where he could breath the fresh air. The crew eventually went crazy from enhaling the mercury fumes.

Kirin Fried-Boxt
NVRHS Demarest
grade: 12
explanation: The mercury from the bath compass evaporated. The captain thought that somebody was stealing the mercury, but really it was evaporating into the air.so everyone breathed it in, and went crazy, except Harding who spent alot of time outside so he breathed clean air.

Kristin Miller
Staples High School
grade: 9
explanation: I think that the people had metal poisoning from some other source because I think that Mercury, being a metal, poisoned the crew. I think that because the captain mentioned that he used mercury on his compass, and when he left it by the stove, it evaporated into the air, and poisoned them, like the "Mad Hatters." The people were all affected because they were confined to such a small space. You can tell that the mercury was evaporating because the captain kept mentioning that the Mercury in his bath compass was decreasing, which would have been the mercury evaporating. It didn't affect Perdita as much because she spent most of her time by the door in the open air watching Harding, who was unaffected because he stayed outside all the time, where there was no Mercury, and plenty of fresh air.

Derek Monthei
Lutheran Highshool North
grade: 11
explanation: I suspect that the mercury from the bath compass was the cause of the crew going crazy. Lt. Harding did not spend much time in the tent. The captain left the bath compass out. The mercury must have evaporated and the crew breathed in the fumes. Lt. Harding did not become exposed to the mercury as much as the others. It could not have been antimony because they were out of fever medicine. Lt. Harding had the same food as the rest so it wasn't the canned food.

DLBHS 1st Period Biology Class
Des Lacs-Burlington H.S.
grade: 9-10
explanation: We believe it is Mercury, but not from the medicines from other causes. We believe it came from the compass, it affected the whole group because it was by the stove and it was heated and evaporated and it would not affect Lt. Harding because he was never really with the group. It was passed through the air between everybody except Lt. Harding, and they were all really tired and she got confused while writing her diary with the dates, and they are both symptons of Mercury poisoning.

Period 2 Honors Biology Class
Presque Isle (Maine) High School
grade: 10
explanation: The mercury in the bath compass was the metal that poisoned the crew. The compass was set near the stove and the heat made the mercury evaporate. In the form of vapor, all the crew inhaled it except Harding. He stayed outside all day long and wasn't affected by it. Perdita was affected by it, but not as much as the other crew members because she stood by the door as a lookout for Harding when he was outside.

Ms. Sams Period 1
John P. Stevens High School
grade: 10
explanation: The mercury affected the entire crew because the compass bath filled with mercury was sitting on the stove, then everyone inhaled it and got sick. Then after inhaling enough mercury there brains were affected.

Period 7 Human Biology Class
Presque Isle (Maine) High School
grade: 11th and 12th
explanation: The mercury from the bath compass caused the dementia. The mercury was kept next to the stove and the heat caused the mercury to evaporate. The mercury vapor in the air affected the entire crew because they all stayed in the small tent. Lt. Harding was not affected because he spent most of his time outside on the ice.

Elliott's 9/10th grade Biology Honors class
Mayo High School
grade: 9th/10th
explanation: We believe it had to be metal poisoning from some other source, possibly evaporated mercury from the bath compass. All individuals in the party were supposedly in the tent (an enclosed area), and Lt. Harding was not. It cannot be lead poisoning from the cans because accumulation of lead usually takes several years to affect a person. Lead can be excreted in the urine, whereas mercury cannot. It cannot be mercury from the medicines because the calomel vials were full. There was no James' Powder present so no antimony. The alcohol bottles were full, suggesting that the party was not using very much. The grog was diluted but not by very much.

1st hour Biology--Mrs. Osborn
Sacred Heart Griffin High School
grade: 10
explanation: The bowl for the Bath compass was found near the stove, the mercury was evaporating. The captain noticed mercury missing. Lt. Harding kept leaving the tent and he breathed fresh air so he took in less mercury.

2nd hour Biology--Mrs. Osborn
Sacred Heart Griffin High School
grade: 10
explanation: Mercury could have been evaporating from the Bath compass. It is possible that during the fire somebody picked up the bowl of the compass and threw the mercury on the fire in an attempt to put the fire out because there was no liquid water. Lt. Harding left camp before the fire.

Class of Amy Wissekerke/Marjorie Maxey
Western Albemarle High School, VA
grade: 10
explanation: The mercury in the captain's bath compass steadily evaporated, leading him to believe someone was siphoning it off. However, it was simply being breathed in and absorbed by him and members of the crew. It was placed where everyone could see it, and thus breathe it. It was probably in an enclosed room where everyone there was exposed to it.

Dan Vecchi & Bryan Augustyniak
Staples High School
grade: 11
explanation: Because the mercury was kept in a tent which became filled with mercury vapor. Everyone but Lt. Harding used that tent so that is why the whole crew went insane, but not Lt. Harding.

Jason Allen
Northern Valley Regional High School - Demarest
grade: 12
explanation: the bowl of mercury evaporated into the air they breathed and they died of mercury poisoning which causes dementia.

Philip Mangiat
NVRHS Demarest
grade: 12
explanation: I think that it could not be antimony because it does not cause delirium, and it could not also be liver damage or delirium tremens because there was not enough alcohol gone to cause the whole crew to become delirious. So, I think that what caused them to become delirious was the mercury because when the captain put the mercury into the bath compass some of it evaporated and the crew inhaled it, so they all went mad.

Andrea K. Knight
Cleveland Heights High school
grade: 12
explanation: Captian Torvey left the mercury in his compass all day, instead of pouring it back into the bottle. The mercury evaporated into the air, and was not siphoned off as Torvey suspected. This airborne mercury was inhaled by all of the crew in the close quarters. Lt. Harding frequently went out onto the ice, and so escaped too much exposure to the deadly liquid. The victims from the second episode had unusually high levels of mercury in their bodies, especially the captains wife. This caused the men to go mad and eventually succumb to death.

Eva Rule
Lake Stevens High School
grade: 10
explanation: I believed that the crew went crazy from the fumes that had evaporated off the mecuary. Since mecury can evaporate I believe that the fumes evntually spread through out the boat. And since everybody breathes they would have had to breath it in, and that is why I thik that they all went crazy. Finally I thought I had read something about the whole entire camp burning down, but I'm not that sure.

The reason why they went crazy from breathing the fumes in was because, for an example, during the mad hatter period of time the hats that some of the men wore had mecury in them. After wearing them for a while they started breathing in these fumes of the mecury and that the chemicals and fumes evantally went to their brain, and that is why I think that is why the crew went crazy.

Jason Sweeney
West Mifflin Area High School
grade: 11
explanation: The Mercury in the compass evaporated and the entire crew inhaled the vapors.

Sean Dalton, Scott Hildreth
Lk. Stevens High School
grade: 10/11
explanation: The compass as it sat by the fire caused the mercury to evaporate and made the vapors spread throughout the room. Everyone was affected due to being in the tent.Harding was not affected becuase he would sit out side of the tent. The mercury was missing due to it evaporating from the compass.

Read the Conclusion to Arctica




An Access Excellence Science Mystery sponsored by Genentech, Inc.
Copyright © 1997 Genentech, Inc.; all rights reserved.


 
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