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Mitchell House Headmaster Andrew Cook and seventh graders Vaizaan Gani and Phys Bro­derick, who based their project on the negative effects of air pollution caused by Eskom that uses coal to produce electricity.

Students show off skills at science fair

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Having spent weeks working on experiments, making observations and recording and analysing the results, Mitchell House intermediate and senior phase learners could finally stand back and let the final products speak for themselves at the primary schools’ third annual science fair last week.
The fair presented two age groups, junior for grades 4 and 5 and senior for grades 6 and 7.
The projects touched on two categories namely pure science and investigation as well as technology and design.
Compared to last year when the contestants seemed mostly to have focussed on science, they showed off their technological skills too this year. “This is tremendous achievement by educators and students,” Headmaster Andrew Cook said.
The judges rated the participants’ use of the scientific evidence and thoroughness of their research.
The judging panel included Deputy Principal Kathy Proctor and Antoaneta Letsoalo who thoroughly questioned candidates on their individual entries.
“Although they needed to have an attractive organised display, 75% of the marks were allocated to the understanding of their topic, evidence of research and application of the scientific method or technological process. Contestants also needed to be able to communicate their findings and experiences to the judges,” Achsah Phoshoko, Director of Marketing said.
Displays included demonstrations of how to strengthen a Wi-Fi signal, how to make LED lights go on and off using a magnetic field and how long it takes a marble to travel through different liquid forms.
Among the topics explored by the participants were solar energy, the galaxy and plants.
Learners were also concerned about the future of South Africa’s clean water, natural disasters and the shortage of electricity in rural areas and therefore based their experiments on these issues at hand.
“It is a great learning process for the students. Every single year kids amaze me with their creativity,” educator Kerry Spratt said.

Story and photos: Yolandi van den Berg
>>yolandivdberg@observer.co.za

Fardeen Remtula with Science educator Kerry Spratt. Fardeen illustrated how electricity can be generated from stored battery energy using a bicycle.

When thinking of a topic for his project, Travis Sithole watched the news and decided to focus his research on ways to prevent natural disasters.

Iyaaz Mayet’s project illustrates the purification of water using a special plant.