“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.”
Last Sunday March 25th at our American Sherouk campus, middle school students participated in the first NIS Sherouk Science Fair. Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 grouped together, applied the scientific method and experienced trial and error at its finest. They made their own experiments with their own hands and materials.
One of the main purposes of the science fair, Dr. Nayera Shaker, Science HOD told us, is that even if a student’s experiment doesn’t work they understand why it didn’t work, why it may have failed and think of what they can do to improve it. They learn real life skills like problem solving and perseverance. Some of Dr. Nayera’s favorite projects used simple materials but were more than amazing like the water purification system, the production of bio-gas out of food remains, and the solar boat. Participants who exerted lots of effort in their projects like lots of reading on their experiments and had complete understanding allowing them to answer all questions they were asked were some of Dr. Nayera’s “wow factors” when judging a project.
Loijana Ayman and her team’s hypothesis was “can we use the same principles of mother nature to clean water?” The students were able to create a water purification system cleaning and purifying water in 5 steps or stages. First dirty water is pushed from a pump in a jar it into the first stage: gravel and sand and then the second stage: activated carbon which both purifies the water from color and smell, next the third stage: the Nanofilter made out of cotton, paper, coffee filters and a sponge which purifies it from any dirt, the fourth stage: vaporization where heat evaporates water creating stem which the move to the final and fifth stage: UV sterilization where a UV lamp kills bacteria and virus’ completing the water purification process.
Others from grade 8, like Hana Hesham were able to create bio-gas with essentially just vegetables. Bio-gas is a gas that helps create a new source of clean energy. Students allowed vegetables and fruits like lettuce and onions to rot becoming agricultural residue, then creating methane.
Also from grade 8, was the production of a solar powered boat. The students used solar panels, a photocell, a battery and an engaging app called Arduino that virtually allowed them to control and move the boat all with the power of their own cell phones.
Projects were all graded and the top winners earned certificates. Grade 6 winners were the Hovercraft, Grade 7: The Helping Hand and Grade 8: Pink Water. The students who won the 1st place science project will receive a cup by Middle School Principal, Dr. Heather Browne in the morning lines when they return from Spring Break.
Finally our first place winners from Grade 6 Tamer Nasser, Youssef Mohamed, Ryan Farnawany and Seif-eldin Tamer were able to create a Hovercraft. Who needs wheels when you can hover? Besides defeating the purpose of wheels, a hovercraft can move on all-terrain including water, sand and snow. This group’s project was quite complex and intricate, some supplies included a motor, an 11.5 volt battery, and ESCs. One of the hardest parts of building the hovercraft was actually connecting and dealing with the electric circuits. After weeks of hard work success prevailed, but with its cost. On the first trial the hovercraft worked on the second though it did not. After all you experiment, fail, learn and repeat. As Emerson once said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” To her students, Dr. Browne says “keep trying, keep researching, and keep experimenting so you can keep learning!”