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It is 2020 and the team at Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) believes its radio telescopes may have picked up faint signals from a star system about 10 light years away. Groups of pupils in age ranges seven to 11, 11 to14, 14 to16 and 16 to 19 are invited to produce a newspaper as if written on this momentous day and submit it by May 1. Visit or send an SAE to: SETI Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1V ONL. A leaflet about life beyond Earth is also available from the Society.

The Formula One in Schools Design Challenge, sponsored by Jaguar Cars and Denford, requires students aged 11 to 18 to use computer aided design and manufacturing (CADCAM) to design, make and race the car of the future powered by carbon dioxide cylinders by April 2001. The final will be held at BETT 2002 at Olympia, London. The ProDesktop software required for the challenge is available free through the Design and Technology Association. Registration details: 01484 712264. E-mail: Web: www.f1inschools.comor

Pupils aged 11 to 14 and GCSE students are being challenged by the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee to produce a newspaper article, by March 31, about an important aspect of food microbiology. Schools entering will receive a free pack of teaching resources. Also available is an interactive computer assisted resource on food safety and production at edu_carmfmf_index.htm Certificates and cash prizes are on offer. Dariel Burgess, tel: 01189 881835. E-mail: Students aged16 to19 are invited to write an article of about 700 words by March 9, presenting a scientific discovery or research topic in a vivid, readable style. First prize includes a week's trip to the 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston, pound;500 cash and the chance to publish a piece in the 'Daily Telegraph'. Dr Mary Archer and professors Heinz Wolff and Lewis Wolpert are among the judges for the Daily Telegraph BASF Young Science Writer Awards. Tel: 020 7704 5315. Web:

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