Grade 9s Show Off Experiments at Science Fair
Grade 9 scientists took over Gudewill Gym on December 5 for the annual Science Fair.
"All of our Grade 9 students are doing a science fair project for the first time. We have a total of 63 students with 63 projects presenting right now," explained Ms. Anne-Marie Simard, Math and Science teacher.
The projects the students came up with revolve around experimentation and innovation on a range of topics. The young scientists inquired, became knowledgeable and communicated their findings.
"We have projects from growing plants with different fertilizers, to testing how fast different pills dissolve in different PH solutions. Students have built windmills trying different sizes of blades, to see which ones generate the most electricity. So, a lot of different types of projects," said Simard.
Many students use school resources like the labs to put together their project, while some looked at outside sources such as the labs at the University of Victoria and to local professionals to bounce ideas off of.
"It was good to push themselves and discover more about their projects, and getting a good science experiment out of it," said Simard.
Nikolas Krusekopf used the labs at GNS for his experiment. He focused on finding a cheap and effective way to filter out bacteria from water. He looked at using pinewood as an example of gymnosperm plants. "I was looking at two things: the overall effectiveness of the filter and if you increase the amounts of nanoparticle—which I used as a representation of bacteria—will the effectiveness change?" he said.
In the end, Krusekopf explained that his hypothesis was supported. Choosing a topic for his experiment, Krusekopf went with something that would be useful for him, as he likes to go hiking in the backcountry.
"I know people have gotten into situations where they run out of water and they don't have a filter," he said. "Something like this can be used to filter water that you can use to cook and drink. I was also looking at remote First Nation reserves, this would be effective since water quality is a big issue there."
Briana Flores looked at electricity for her project, which was called "From Heat to Electricity." The purpose of her project was to give lost energy a second use.
"We don't notice, but a lot of energy is being lost in machines or the back of our refrigerator or the back of your computer," she said. "What I'm doing is I'm trying to take advantage of all that heat and convert it to electricity."
She used candles and dry ice to try and answer the questions she had about converting energy to electricity.
Flores said at first she thought it was the heat that was converting to electricity, but what creates a voltage difference is the difference between hot and cold.
The students started working on their projects at the beginning of September. The Science Fair was a wrap up of what they had done and communicated all they had learned to various judges throughout the day. There were nearly 30 judges including staff, professors, community members and more.
The top two projects will move onto the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair at the University of Victoria on April 5-6.
The Grade 9 Science Fair was part of a school-wide STEM Exhibition. Along with various activities throughout the day, students heard presentations including Science World and a presentation from University of Victoria professor Leah May Ver on natural disasters.