A successful science fair at Mokoia Intermediate last week was the culmination of a term’s work in scientific method and critical thinking skills.
All students had the opportunity to work through a science investigation and develop their understanding of scientific method. The results were spectacular, with most of our children represented by the exhibits in the hall, which were completed in pairs or individually. Many chose to look at issues that affected Rotorua residents, like lake water quality.
The first place winner in the science section was year seven student, Matthew Gatenby. His investigation, “Travelling Trout”, looked at the necessary conditions for trout to spawn.
“I worked on it for two months. I’d taken up fly fishing with my dad. We’d seen news articles that said that they thought the reason was to do with water temperature. So that became my hypothesis.”
The top technology exhibit was the creation of year 7 student Hamish Dodd. He looked at inventing an air pump that didn’t cause back strain, after his dad asked him to inflate an airbed that they needed to check. “My next step is to look for advice from an engineering expert,” he reflected.
The science exhibits were judged by the principal, Mrs Deborah Epp, who has a science teaching background, Mrs Janet Nairn, former Head of Science at Rotorua Boys High School, and Mrs Barbara Jenks, a former Science teacher at Rotorua Lakes High School.
Students at Mokoia Intermediate are being prepared for a world “where science and innovation will be an increasingly important part of daily life,”(Lesley Middleton, Ministry of Science and Innovation). A recent report by Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor, suggested that “a forward looking science education system is fundamental to our future success in an increasingly knowledge-based world.”
Top exhibits will be entered into the BOP Science Fair in September.
1st – Matthew Gatenby, “Travelling Trout”
2nd – Olivia Wilson and Jessie Heke, “Swimming in Lake Rotorua”
3rd equal – Tom Waldin and Paddy Baylis, “Bilingual Brain Gym”
3rd equal – Liam Mowbray, “Blazing Fire”
Highly commended – Kirsten Purdie, Jaime Thorby, Monica Stevenson, Tenaya Chater, Debra Edwards, Samantha Meredith and Abbey Lawrence
1st – Hamish Dodd, “The Super Pump”
2nd – Paula Lee, “Algae Eco Friendly Paper”
3rd – Rose Pickernell and Charlotte Ennor, “Comfy Cleaners”
Highly Commended – Luke Gordon, “Instant Life Jacket”