Inquisitive minds and a flair for science scooped several awards for a group of North Otago school pupils at the Sanford Science and Technology Fair.
Oamaru Intermediate School pupils Larnie Davidson, Mackenzie Shearmon, Allie Senior (all 13) and Georgina Carter-Trotman (12); Evie Nutbean, Cerys Thomas, and Phoebe Wang of Totara School, and Waitaki Girls’ High School pupils Mady Rawson (15) and Ella Phillips (15) all came home with awards from the recent awards held in Timaru.
Each entered a science exhibit into the competition, which required them to either investigate or research a science idea that covered a hypothesis, theory, principal or law and apply it to their chosen topic in the form of a display.
All of the Oamaru Intermediate pupils won bronze awards for their efforts, as did Cerys.
Evie, Mady and Ella won silver awards.
Allie’s exhibit asked if nail polish remover was also a waste remover; Georgina’s looked at creating a device from household items to distill water; Larnie investigated sugar content of fruit and vegetables and Mackenzie studied the effects of blood and bone manure on plants in gardens.
Larnie selected her topic because she believed many people were not aware of sugar levels in fresh fruit and vegetables.
“I feel its kind of interesting to the community because they are making uninformed decisions about what sugars are in fruits and vegetables . . . because it is not labelled in the supermarkets.”
Georgina said access to clean water was an issue in many underdeveloped countries and she wanted to discover how that could potentially be addressed, and Mackenzie said she chose her topic to find out how people could boost the yield from their gardens as cheaply as possible.
All had their own reasons why they enjoyed science, but all agreed conducting research and analysing the results was enjoyable.
Larnie and Georgina were particularly proud to have won special awards.
Oamaru Intermediate School maths, literacy and science teacher Jude Garrett said she was proud of her pupils who had worked hard throughout the process.
“They have done a great job. It’s a lot of work they have had to do and they’ve spent a lot of their own time on it.
“They get interviewed by the judges, so they actually have to be able to talk to it and answer questions for a extended period, which is tough going for a group of 12 and 13-year-olds.”