Science minus the white lab coats

September 27, 2017

Sam Woodward, 11, built a wind turbine for his science experiment.

From exploding volcanoes to discovering who stole the cookie from the cookie jar and the most effective way to clean your hands – Corowa Public School students got to the bottom of all of these and more during the school’s inaugural Science Expo.

The Science Expo, however, has been about much more than science experiments with students learning about environmental science and how they can make things to look after the environment, as well as the importance of recycling.
Assistant Principal Angela Clark said it was about engaging students’ learning and making them innovating thinkers.
“Science is about much more than science experiments, it is also about how we can be sustainable and take care of the environment through science,” she said.
Year 1 and 2 students have learnt just how bad plastic bags are for the environment.
“Did you know that in all of Australia, the amount of plastic bags we have could fill the MCG 7½ times?” Phoenix Wight, 8, told The Free Press.
“Also, if tied all together, the plastic bags would go around the world 24½ times.”
To help solve the problem students melted multiple plastic bags together with the use of an iron and later stitched them together.
The last step was to decorate the bags and they will later be donated to the IGA Supermarket for shoppers to re-use them.
Students continued waging a war on waste as they invented biodegradable products.
Among the inventions was a drink bottle made of bamboo and held together with bee resin and wax.
The drink bottle could be used until it starts to biodegrade, at which point it would be put in the ground where it would take four to six months to biodegrade.
The product reduces plastic bottles and saves the planet.
Students learnt that only one in five plastic bottles are recycled and plastic bottles take between 400 to 1000 years to decompose.
Another student created a mobile phone with a plastic biodegradable screen and casing after learning about 150 million phones are sent to landfill in the US each year and 10 billion are produced annually.
The Science Expo began on September 18 with a speech at the school’s assembly by the Dean of Science at CSU in Wagga, Tim Wess.
Mrs Clark said the professor gave a great speech about science and told the students, staff and parents how his work had taken him around the world.
Over at the science experiments, Harrison Le Lievre, 7, was proving the most effective way to clean hands.
His science experiment invited people to spray their hands with Harrison’s homemade glitter bug spray (germs) and then choose one of three methods to clean their hands – hand wipes, Dettol or warm soapy water.
Then participants were asked to put their hands under a UV light and test the results themselves.
To his surprise, and others, warm soapy water was the winner.
Harrison admitted it was his dad that came up with the science experiment because being a computer science teacher he was always saying people should clean their hands better.
Evelyn Hooper, 10, created ‘magic colour-changing water’.
The experiment involved boiling purple cabbage with some water to make a nice liquid consistency.
“If we now add washing powder it turns the liquid green, but if you add cream of tartar it goes light purple and vinegar turns it a navy colour,” she said.
Evelyn said the best part of her experiment was ‘seeing the liquid change colour before your eyes’.
Inspired by the recent solar eclipse in the US, Ethan Hanrahan constructed a diorama complete with a ‘sun’ that could be blocked out to represent a solar eclipse.
Meanwhile, Sam Woodward, 11, built a wind turbine and set out to see how many fan blades produced the most electricity for three wind speeds.
His conclusion was four fan blades because they have more of an area to pick up the wind.
Millie Doody, 9, was interested in discovering who stole the cookie from the cookie jar at home and devised an experiment to lift fingerprints off the jar in question using graphite powder and clear adhesive tape.

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