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Feb 21, 2013

Science Fair at Saint John’s College

The grounds of St John’s College, was buzzing with activity today as students from numerous schools dropped by for the high school’s science fair. There were a number of innovative projects for which a hypothesis was created, tested and then analyzed. After spending weeks at experimenting among their peers, friends and families, the young scientists appeared before a panel of judges. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today at the Saint John’s College Compound on Princess Margaret Drive, parents, students from other educational institutions, the public and the media, were for the first time invited to its Science Fair. Held under the theme, “Innovative minds, creative inventions; transforming Belize one idea at a time,” the fair is the result of months of preparations by second, third and fourth form students. Divided into some forty-five groups, the students were tasked to create an experiment, test it and the outcome presented to a panel of judges.

 

Joycelyn Azueta

Joycelyn Azueta, Head of Science Department, SJC

“The goal is basically to promote the scientific process, the scientific skills that the students needs to develop over their four year period here at St. John’s college and simply to promote the idea of scientific analytical thinking. They have to come up with a problem in the form of a question. They then devise a hypothesis and then from the hypothesis, they design an experiment. They carry out the experiment and collect amble sample of data and what they do with the data and results is analyze and come up with a conclusion that either supports or rejects their hypothesis.”

 

Kamau Straughan

And the booths indeed showcased ingenuity; from generating hydro and wind electricity to testing alternatives to Alka-Seltzer tablets.  The future inventors even found a resourceful way to have water power your car.

 

Kamau Straughan, 3rd Form Student, SJC

“Basically a car than runs on water. We also modified it so that the fuel cell itself could recharge batteries and things. The process it works it is known as electrolysis. And what we have here is the fuel cell on a bigger scale which is the breakdown of water molecules to make oxy-hydrogen gas which can be used as a modern day butane.  After like fifteen-twenty minutes of waiting for it to fuel up, we would turn it on and it would run. It could run for like fifteen to twenty minutes. When I first researched on the idea I said yes Belize could use this because we have ridiculous gas prices and thing—with ten dollars per gallon. We have so much eater; half a year it rains and we can get water from anywhere. So I thought maybe if we did this and implement this kinda technology into our Belizean cars that it can be more fuel efficient.”

 

Siian Rancharan and his group took a healthier approach and tackled acne, a condition affecting many teenagers. They found out that what you consume can minimize the extent of breakouts.

 

Siian Rancharan

Siian Rancharan, 3rd Form Student, SJC

“Foods have different energies—cold and heat energy—as well as your body. You have a balance within your body of cold and heat energy. When you add different energies into your bodies, it has different effects on the body so then we wanted to see how watermelon and a popular snack in our school can affect acne in our own student body. So what we tested is we took three slices of watermelon and we gave the test subjects for fourteen days straight. As well we gave a combo to each subject for fourteen days straight. And the results actually proved that the watermelon did decrease acne while the combo increased acne. We thought it is better to prevent something than having a cure. Cure is much more difficult. The reason why we chose watermelon, it is more accessible to the public; it is not as very expensive as acne treatments.”

 

It’s all about taking the theoretical knowledge and applying it to everyday life says judge, Darnelle Sterling.

 

Darnelle Sterling

Darnelle Sterling, Judge, Science Fair

“What I’ve seen so far is an application of the scientific principles that are taught at first and second form science. And so what I do like about it is that we are taking the science that is in the curriculum and making it more relevant. 08 We are looking at the knowledge of the scientific principle; we are looking at the creativity, resources and the students being familiar with the scientific process.”

 

The fair is held every two years; an art exhibition and a book fair were incorporated into the activities this time around.

 

From abstract to modern day art were on display…

 

..to books from publishing houses, book exchanges, and the latest gadgets available for student use.

 

There were also various presentations by students; in a drama competition, poetry slam and, of course, the experiments of the science fair. And according to Assistant Headmaster of Student Services, Sol Yam, it is a show of the holistic educational approach to learning at the institution.

 

Sol Yam, Assistant Headmaster, Student Services, SJC

Sol Yam

“In this fair we are highlighting the different science experiments and projects that our projects have been busy doing in those science classes. In the art, it is very important that our students develop an appreciation for art; for culture. That is why we have one of the best programs in Belize. When we look at the book fair, we have to look at literacy in Belize.”

 

Yam says that the event is also being used to recruit future students of the institution. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The winners will participate in March at a national science fair competition sponsored by the Belize Catholic Secondary High School.

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1 Response for “Science Fair at Saint John’s College”

  1. Bear says:

    We have some pretty impressive young minds here — bravo to them and their teachers! I’d love to see lots of everyday media attention on these upward-reaching young folks instead of the emphasis on the losers of society. These kids are true role models.

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