Frugal pupils show off their ingenuity
Science-minded students from throughout Southland flocked to Ascot Park Hotel yesterday to set up their exhibits for the Southland Science and Technology Fair.
More than 230 exhibitions are expected to showcase pupils' science and technology projects.
In line with this year's special topic "Frugal Inventions", pupils must spend $20 or less on materials for their project.
Alex Dykes, 11, from St Thomas School in Winton, exhibited his project called "What's Hot?" that tested insulation materials to find out "what's hot and what's not".
Alex said he had fun doing the project and had worked on it over three months.
"Doing all of the experiments was pretty fun, and hectic," he said.
Plastic shopping bags were the best insulation compared to other materials such as wool, pink batts and polystyrene, he said.
Judge Chris Wright said he was impressed with what he had seen so far.
"I am absolutely impressed. It's great that there's such a good turnout."
Mr Wright said he was looking for originality, good application of effort and the ability to communicate well.
James Hargest College teacher Steve Lindsay said the fair was a great learning curve for pupils and allowed them to put their science knowledge into practice.
"It gives the kids the freedom of choice with the topic, and they can do their own planning and time line."
Southland Science and Technology Fair chairwoman Samantha York said that in recent years Southland "has punched above its weight", having pupils claim the title of national overall winner in 2006, 2007 and 2010, and one pupil taking home the national technology prize last year.
The fair was an "ideal way for kids to do something they are interested in, in science and technology", she said.
The exhibits are open to the public between 5pm and 7pm tonight and all day tomorrow and Friday at Ascot Park Hotel. The prizegiving will start on Friday at 5pm. Among the prizes is a chance to take part in the national school science and technology awards, Realise the Dream, from October.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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