Girls School Science Fair

August 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Do you Grow Your Own Vegetables? This was a question asked by the Girls’ School Science Fair winner this year.  Madelaine Freeland completed a comprehensive study over a 60 day period analysing the growth of typical garden vegetables in a variety of soils and comparing the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers.  All this was done on a small balcony area.  Her findings proving there is hope to sustaining a method of growing our own food in a more and more populated city.

Molly Payton has thought long and hard about some footage of a flag flying on the Moon.  She decided to be her own Myth Buster and devised a way to create her own vacuum chamber to test her hypothesis.  An ingenious design – and it worked!

Bethan Montgomery came up with a typical problem that all intermediate students face – how do you store your coloured pens if you want them to stay working for a long period of time?  Through meticulous and regular recording, she was able to trial several methods for storing felt tipped pens and analyse whether they lose their colour quickly.  She also carried out a few chromatography tests to check whether certain colour types were all attributed to the same dye.

Olivia Moorman was intrigued by the ‘new’ light proof bottles for storing milk and having carried out a few germination and growth tests decided to see if there was any light penetration through the lids of the milk bottles. 

Joy Kang was patiently waiting for things to go rusty and thoroughly planned and set up an experiment in various concentrations of salt to just see how much more rust was present with increasing salinity.  Her results were conclusive and her accuracy and style in writing up experiments was exemplary.

Our Year 8 students took on the challenge of producing their very own Science Fair this year.  Some impressive questioning resulted in a wide variety of projects from bubble gum blowing, fizzing metals in acid and waiting for teeth to decay in PowerAde.

The students were given plenty of time and opportunity to select their projects and some even changed their ideas after quite lengthy research and thinking.  Finally, the projects were written, re-written and presented in an exciting eye catching way.  Many of the girls learnt to manage their time carefully, to improve their research skills, fair testing and one comment just summed up the new skills:  ‘I even had to learn how to use a soldering iron before I could make it!’

Our best achievers and projects of interest will be forwarded for entry into the NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair 2013.

Our finalists for the Girls’ School are:

1st Madelaine Freeland - Urban Garden
2nd = Bethan Montgomery - Inky Enough?
2nd= Molly Payton - Could there be wind in a vacuum on the Moon?
3rd = Olivia Moorman - Lids & Light
3rd = Joy Kang - Feeling Rusty?

Other exhibitors to be entered in the NIWA Science Fair competition will be:

Natalya Trombitas: Shelf life
Victoria Caddle: Do Cartoons Affect Us When We Are Trying To Do A Simple Task?
Emma Clancy: Rotting Away
Anna Lowther: The Race to Dissolve
Luciana Palmer-Huitema: Human Eyes

With thanks to Mrs Jess Francis.

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