Young scientists vie for awards

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Waimataitai School pupils Sarah Clarkson (13), Emily Foster (13), Molly Sargent (11) and Navaneethakrishna Sridhar (12). Their entries have been chosen for the Sanford Science and Technology Fair.

Science takes centre stage this month at the annual Sanford Science and Technology Fair.

Each year, year 7-13 pupils from 20 to 30 schools from the Central South Island take part in the fair, displaying original exhibits on scientific or technological themes.

Their entries are judged by a panel of volunteer judges, including industry representatives, university staff, retired teachers and year 13 pupils, and places are awarded for the top entries in year groups and across the fair.

Organising committee member Derek Vogel said this year, more than 200 entries had been received. Schools held their own fairs and chose the best exhibits to enter.

Pupils will set up their exhibits in the Caroline Bay Hall next Tuesday and judging will be held on Wednesday.

The fair will be open to the public from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday and from 9am to 6.30pm on Thursday.

Waimataitai School is entering three exhibits in this year’s fair, chosen after teachers judged entries in the school’s own science fair.

Sarah Clarkson and Emily Foster’s project investigated which cleaning product killed the most germs on a doorknob – bleach, detergent or disinfectant.

Molly Sargent investigated alternatives to fuel, specifically whether cow manure could be used as a fuel, while Navaneethakrishna Sridhar used the coding programme Scratch to create a successful original programme.