Community, Education

Science fair finds right formula for success

Springlands School students Maisie Cornelius and Jaye Wiapo with their gold-medal-winning science fair project. Photo: Matt Brown.

Young scientists are set to make history as the annual Marlborough Lines Science and Technology Fair moves online.

For decades, thousands of curious Marlborough school children have taken part in the popular event, proudly showing off their projects.

But Covid-19 means this year’s event will be different from any previously held.

Organiser Hugh Lensen says this is the first time the fair hasn’t had a physical presence

“[Going online] is a good idea otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to do it at all,” he says.

Video and digital slides will replace the traditional hand drawn poster boards and papier mache models.

But the carefully crafted poster boards will still make an appearance at schools where they can be shared with fellow pupils.

The online move has proven so popular that some would-be entrants had to be turned away.

Springlands School students Jaye Wiapo and Maisie Cornelius won a school gold medal for their science project, ‘An apple a day keeps the dentist away’.

The pair were intrigued by Maisie’s granddad, who claimed eating two apples was enough to replace brushing his teeth.

“It actually wrecks your teeth,” Maisie says.

They tested a variety of apples, hoping to find a type that would prove her granddad’s claims.

“The Pink Lady was the most harmful,” Jaye says.

“Royal Gala was the best for your teeth.”

But their research found that apples in general aren’t particularly good for teeth – and are not a replacement for brushing.

“There are all sorts of out there projects,” Hugh says.

“A lot of students have not really wanted to do a project but then have really got into it.

“Some have gone to university, studying science, and changed their career path just because they enjoyed the science fair as a kid.

“Students can end up with a bundle of money.”

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