Parade contest winners ponder inventions of the last 50 years

The Dorchester Day Parade Committee’s annual essay contest was sponsored by the Dorchester Reporter this year. Two winners were chosen among a number of entries. Students in grades 6-8 were asked to write about “an invention that was created within the last 50 years.” The first place winner was Richard Tran, a sixth grade student at Neighborhood House Charter School. The second place winner was Jeanelle Hernandez, an eighth grader at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. The winners will receive gift cards at the Dorchester Day Parade Chief Marshal’s banquet on Friday, May 31. Excerpts from the two winning essays are printed below.

Personal computers: A memorable invention
By Richard Tran

The world uses technology every day. Texts are sent back and forth while we use the Internet to socialize. The invention that surprised me was the personal computer. The computer is an invention that was created 50 years ago. It fascinates me that as I am typing, the computer follows my commands.

The personal computer has had an important history that has affected us and the technology in the world today. The personal computer is used everywhere and all the time by people in the world. Today, computers are used in all types of occupations, such as robotics and telecommunication. The computer allows us to communicate, search for answers quickly and save time. We will remember the personal computer when we march in the 50th parade of Dorchester Day…

I choose the personal computer because I learn its positive impact on the world. Without the invention of the computer, we would still be in the dark technology of the 1970s. The creation of a personal computer was a vital step in technology that leads to a chain of inventions. Personally, I think the personal computer is a buddy that I can trust in and think it can lead me in a positive way. I use the computer as a reliable source so I can type and save my documents….The tools to find answers will be on the Internet. They are waiting for me.

The personal computer lights up the world like a spark of inspiration which makes the computer one of the most important inventions in all of history… Many people have put their trust in the computer because it they rely on it to guide them through no only socializing but technology and engineering. The personal computer was the invention with 50 years of famous historical impact. Don’t forget the favor we owe personal computers. We won’t forget about the computer in the 50th year of the Dorchester parade.

Richard Tran of Dorchester is a 6th grade student at Neighborhood House Charter School.

Genome project brought medical advances, justice to victims
By Jeanelle Hernandez

In the past fifty years many inventions have been created, but The Human Genome Project, which was completed in April 2003, grasped my attention. The Human Genome Project has given us the ability to read nature’s complete genetic blueprint for building a human being. This project mainly caught my attention because it highlights the very enterprising aspect of modern genetic research. The Human Genome Project is extremely fascinating because of the positive and radically helpful differences thaty it has made to today’s research. This has been one of the great feats of exploration in history. It can be called an inward expedition of discovery into our own cells rather than an outward exploration into the planets.

The Human Genome Project was created to map and sequence the entire human genome, in other words, to locate every gene on every human chromosome. Beginning in 1990 and completed in April 2003, it was an international research effort coordinated by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy, along with contributors from universities across the United States. This project has led scientists to many new discoveries that I find extremely fascinating. With the success of this project came a major impact and change in the fields of medicine, biotechnology and the life sciences. This advance in DNA testing has also helped solve many cases in court and put many bad men and women away giving justice to many victims. This demonstrates why I chose this invention.
One example of how the genome project has brought justice to victims in in one particular case that had remained open for eighteen years. A sixteen-year-old girl in 1994 was walking home on Merrymount Parkway in Quincy on a summer night. She was abducted at knifepoint, held captive for several hours and repeatedly raped.

Eleven years passed and the case stayed open because police couldn’t crack the case. Then a Quincy detective going over the evidence submitted it for DNA testing. Because of the advance in DNA they were able to match it to a man by the name Martin Lovato, who had a long criminal history. They were then able to match it to another unsolved rape case of a seventeen year-old girl in a Weymouth backyard. This evidence made it possible for Lovato to be convicted of the Quincy rape and another is Leicester. He was sentenced to life in prison.

This case is only one example of the growing number of cases that have been open for decades and then solved because of the Genome project. This invention is making a huge impact on the future….I am a firm believer of justice for everyone. The Genome Project has brought that to those three rape victims.

Jeanelle Hernandez of Dorchester is an 8th grade student at the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School.