Ever wonder how to earthquake-proof buildings, or what shampoo is best for your hair? Or how you might go about extracting iron from your breakfast cereal?
Students at Charlie Lake Elementary asked those kinds of questions, and displayed the results of their research at the school gym Tuesday for their annual science fair.
“Our students are pretty good at coming up with some excellent experiments, and so there’s a variety,” said Linda Haugen, a teacher-librarian at the school who organized the event.
One student researched the best way to soundproof a basement—“because they’re going through a renovation,” said Haugen. Another looked at how many germs people have in their mouths.
One boy has a pacemaker, and did his project on the batteries and how long they last.
“The primary students often do something that’s close to their heart, like which food does my dog like the best,” Haugen said.
There’s always the volcano project, a kind of a “rite of passage that they have to do that.”
Matthew Esae, a Grade 5 student, wanted to find out if having a cellphone constantly on or near you could have a negative effect on health. To test this, he wanted to see if being in close proximity to a cell phone would affect a plant’s growth rate.
“If the seeds near the cellphone don’t sprout or grow, that might mean they give off some kind of radiation,” he told the Alaska Highway News.
Esae sprouted two sets of seeds, one near an iPhone and another far from an iPhone.
“In the beginning, it looked like the sets of plants were growing at the same rate. They sprouted on the same day and they grew roots on the same days,” Esae said.
But as the plants started to grow more, he started noticing some changes.
“I noticed that the cell phone plants were a bit paler and yellowish-y green in some spots. The no cellphone plants had taller sprouts that were shooting up,” he said.
Of the 131 students who presented their projects in the science fair, 17 will be going to the regional science fair in Dawson Creek this April.