Ever wondered if your cat is left or right-handed?
What about how long you could leave a bowl of ice cream outside of the freezer before the tasty treat melts? Or, which soil grows the best plants?
Students tried to answer those questions and more at the Junior Bluewater Regional Science and Technology Fair Wednesday at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
Judges viewed dozens of projects at the junior science fair and students were awarded bronze, silver and gold medals as well as special prizes provided by the fair’s community sponsors.
Fair chair Heather Weber said 11 schools participated at this year’s event – the first in-person event since 2019.
The regional science fair moved online with students completing virtual projects in 2020 and 2021 when public health measures aimed at reducing the transmission of COVID-19 prevented large gatherings.
Weber said 140 students participated and entered 110 projects at the 2023 science fair.
“The numbers dipped a little bit, mainly because I think everyone is slowly returning to the way things used to be coming out of the pandemic. I know when the pandemic happened the science fairs were put on hold, and a lot of schools now are beginning to get back into teaching their students how to do a science fair project and the traditional project delivery,” Weber said.
The projects are judged on originality, accuracy, completeness and results. Students are asked to explain their process and scientific thinking in regard to their selected topic. The students are interviewed about the topic and judged on their display and project log book as well.
Students may work alone on their projects or in pairs.
Project divisions include chemical, earth and space sciences, energy and control, health sciences, life sciences and physical and mathematical sciences.
Weber, who has been the chair of the organization for three years, said the student’s projects often deal with the challenges of day-to-day life and the current issues of their generation.
For example, Huron Heights student Tegan Frook explored how the popular social media app Tik Tok may have an impact on the memory of its users.
“She interviewed, I think 75 students, to see if people who watch a lot of Tik Tok videos have an improved memory or a not-so-good memory, and in the end, the results suggest Tik Tok does influence memory,” Weber said.
Weber said bacteria, cleanliness and exploring how people may have evolved during the pandemic were a large focus of the projects this year.
“The other topic we’re seeing a lot is focused around environmental causes,” Weber said. “We had a number of projects focused on water filtration and having clean water, using alternative technologies and energy sources.”
Wednesday’s junior science fair, for Grey-Bruce students in Grades 4 to 6, took place a week after the senior science fair in which six students earned an opportunity to join Team Bluewater at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Edmonton from May 14 to 19.
“The key to a good science fair project is being able to think about how to solve a problem we have in the world and also being able to justify things that we do,” Weber said.
The fair is of the longest-running science and technology fairs in Ontario and formed as an amalgamation of the Bruce County and Grey County Science Fairs in 1998 – both of which had existed for 25 years prior to joining forces.
The organization is a registered charity and is run by volunteers from the community with a mission of inspiring and supporting an interest in science, technology and engineering for our youth in the area.
For more information and a full list of winners visit www.brstf.org.
SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS
Life Science Award, Robin Moffat, Do Cats Have a Dominant Paw? – Huron Heights Public School; Social Science Award, Tegan Frook, Should I Be Allowed to Get Tik Tok? – Huron Heights Public School; Chemical Award, Isaac Hills, Ice Cream Melting Time – Hepworth Central Public School; Bruce Power Award, Maddie Sumner, Vida Miró, Creating Gas From Biomass – Dawnview Public School; Energy Innovation Award, Rayya Baig, Do different coins affect the voltage? – Northport Elementary School; John Lennon Award, Hayden Adams, The Perfect Flake – Huron Heights Public School AND Myles Burrell, Marshmallow Gun Optimal PSI – Northport Elementary School; Joan Skelton Memorial Award, Lilah Glasser, Ava Hughes, The Seasons – Notre Dame Catholic School; PEO Engineering Award, Sarah Moriarty, Plants For Pennies: Which Soil Type Will Grow the Best Plants – Huron Heights Public School; Hammond Award, Ava Ward, Record Player – Which size cone makes louder music? – Northport Elementary School; Conservation Award, Chloe Ramer, Water Filtration – Hepworth Central Public School; Natural Science Award, Olivia Cabana, AHA, I’m Growing! – Amabel Sauble Community School; Owen Sound Field Naturalists Award, Mehreen Syed, Vertical Farming – Huron Heights Public School; Inspired by Nature Award, Nora Kelley, Water Filters: How Do You Create Clean Drinking Water With a Homemade Water Filter? – Huron Heights Public School; Roots of Bruce Award, Nelson MacLeod, Plant Growth-Hepworth Central Public School; Marine Navigation Award, Mason Fisher, Submarine Design – Hepworth Central Public School; Health Award, Natalie Baumber, Healthy Kids Are Sweet Enough! – Huron Heights Public School; Nutrition Award, Andrew Humphrey, Electrolyte Challenge in Sports Drinks – Huron Heights Public School; NPX innovation Award, Violet Davaze, How to find “A Decent Exposure” – St. Anthony’s Catholic School; Canadian Nuclear Award, Nelson MacLeod, Plant Growth – Hepworth Central Public School; Best of Fair, Sarah Moriarty, Plants For Pennies: Which Soil Type Will Grow the Best Plants – Huron Heights Public School.