Kids prefer a packet-mix cake over a home-made treat, soft green bubble gum makes the biggest bubbles and boys have a better short-term memory than girls.
These are just three of the findings from more than 500 students who took part in the annual Illawarra Coal Regional Science Fair at the University of Wollongong today.
For Thirroul Public School students Alice McCann and Ronan Skyring, the fair was a chance to wage a battle of the sexes.
‘‘We wanted to test if girls really do have a better memory than boys because that is the myth that goes around everywhere,’’ Alice said.
Ronan said the team’s memory tests revealed that boys had a better short-term memory by 3 per cent, but - sticking up for her sisters - Alice said the results were inconclusive.
‘‘It’s not that boys have a better memory, it’s that girls don’t have a better one because the difference was only 3 per cent,’’ she said.
For Mount Annan Public School’s Jasmin Camilleri and Rebecca Asquith the science fair allowed them to take part in one of their favourite activities - chewing gum and blowing bubbles.
‘‘Our favourite lolly is bubble gum and we learnt different shapes and sizes make different types of bubbles,’’ Rebecca said.
Although many of the projects were about having fun, Mount Annan teacher Carolyn Matthews said the science fair also gave kids serious scientific skills.
‘‘They love doing their own hands-on experiments and testing things out,’’ Ms Matthews said.
‘‘They also get self-confidence and having to present to judges can be daunting, so they learn how to take ownership and express themselves.’’
UOW science dean Professor Will Price said the science fair was an opportunity for students in primary and high school to research a topic of interest and showcase their findings to expert judges.
“The science fair aims to collaborate with teachers about the way science is taught in schools, inspire students to continue studying science and to go on to consider careers in science,” he said.
Best Physics Project: Jake Osborne, Jack Hummel and Kaleb Cox, Javelin - Effect of Force, Corrimal High School.
Best Chemistry and Materials Science Project: Timothy Newing - Paper under pressure, Illawarra Christian School (Cordeaux Heights).
Best Earth and Environmental Science Project: Meg Cummins, Marissa Couldridge and Bronte Mandaric - Saving the world with cow manure, St Mary’s Star of the Sea College.
Best Year 3 and 4 Project: Isaac Taylor and Lachlan Watts - Pendulums, St Anthony’s Catholic School.
Best Year 5 and 6 Project: Macinley Butson - A sponge full of medicine is just what the doctor ordered, Mount Keira Demonstration School.
Best Year 7 and 8 Project: Lauren Cislowski - A fraction of friction, Mount Annan High School.
Best Year 9 and 10 Project: Ethan Butson - Getting shirty can be good ... sometimes, Illawarra Grammar School.
Best Year 11 and 12 Project: Marisa Crilly and Caitlin Emmerich - Can you teach an old dog a new trick?, St Joseph's Catholic High School.