Young scientists put experiments on show


ABOUT 100 entries were submitted in this year’s New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter Southland Science and Technology Fair.

Last year’s science fair was cancelled due to Covid-19, and was able to go ahead this time around in a restricted setting.

While the pupils’ submissions were not able to be viewed by the public, judges spent Monday evening taking in the children’s experiments and work.

Ages ranged from primary to senior school, and entries came from James Hargest College, Southland Girl’s High School, St John’s Girls’ School Limehills, Hillside, Half Moon Bay, Woodlands and Myross Bush schools.

James Hargest College Year 7 pupils Hannah Dick (12) and Fletcher McDowall (11, pictured) hit the mark with their hypothesis that family members would have similar fingerprints.

Hannah explained they collected fingerprint samples, enlarged them, classified them into groups and made observations; it appeared there were similarities between family members’ fingerprints, but some patterns reappeared after skipping a generation.

St John’s Girls’ School pupil Ave Valoa-Jack (10) entered the junior technology category.

Named “Escape the Cold”, she designed an app with rural bus-riding schoolchildren in mind.

Not only did it alert a user when the bus was two stops away, it sent a notification at 7am if the outside temperature was colder than 5degC.