By Kelvin Gawley
Students from private and public schools from across the region came together at the University of the Fraser Valley on Wednesday to share science projects and compete for their schools.
The Fraser Valley Regional Science Fair had 121 students from Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Langley and Maple Ridge vying to go to the national science fair in Montreal in May.
One of the events coordinators, Kaylie Rooke, said the annual event helps build excitement around science for kids.
“It gives students a different opportunity to show their learning and show how much they love something,” she said. “I think we have a lot of opportunities for arts and physical education and this is an other outlet for other students who don’t fit in those boxes.”
Rooke said that the projects presented fall under three different categories: research projects, inventions and experiments.
One project, from Grade 7 Clayburn Middle Schools student Madison Watkins, follows the old adage: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” She was washing chicken eggs on her family’s hobby farm, when the opportunity for ingenuity struck her.
“I was cleaning them with a cloth and I didn’t really have a good handling of them,” she said. “I wanted a way to clean them faster but still clean them properly and so I made the Eggsfoliating Gloves.”
The gloves, made by combining exfoliating bathing gloves, rubber dish washing gloves, and fingerless mitts were Watkins’s fourth attempt, after an initial prototype that involved spinning cloth around the egg in a box.
Harjot Basra, a Grade 9 Dasmesh Punjabi School student, researched different depression disorders and then devised his own system to help people cope with stress. He said the strategy, which involves prescribing relaxing activities based on the individual’s worries, has helped his family and friends who have tried it.
When time came to create a science fair project, Josua Aune, a Lochiel Middle School student, decided he’d try something he’d seen on YouTube: making plastic with milk and vinegar. Like a true scientist, he tried it with different kinds of milk, made some observations and some conclusions.
“Skim milk worked best… Cream made the most volume but the poorest quality — it’s crumbly,” he said. “The amount of fat seems to have a variable.”
Finn Paller, a grade 7 Clayburn Middle School student, took inspiration from one of his mother’s friends and teamed up with his electrician uncle to create an umbrella with a heated handle, to keep the hand that holds it warm on cold winter days.