Testing times for students

MAFFRA Secondary College year eight students put on display an impressive variety of scientific experiments during the school’s inaugural science expo at Maffra Memorial Hall on Thursday.

Maffra Secondary College teacher and science expo co-ordinator Kylie Lambert said students formed groups to provide an impressive range of experiments.

She said students were able to choose whatever they were interested in.

“Some preferred to work on their own, but we tried to encourage them to work in teams.

“It develops their team management skills; there were some arguments on how to do things.”

Students were set the task at the end of term two, coming back for term three with their hypotheses and methods.

With just six weeks in the classroom consisting of just two sessions per week, many students worked through lunchtime to complete their project.

Heart rate experiments proved popular, with students testing how different types of music affected heart rates, while heart rates were also measured to determine how energy drinks affected the body.

Wellington Shire Council deputy mayor Patrick McIvor was put to the test, recording a resting heart rate of 80 which increased to 136 while playing video game Call of Duty.

Students Samantha Lee and Abbey Pleydell found goldfish breathed more in warmer water, while Mollie Huts and Michael Leslie conducted a mould test to see which fast food burger had more preservatives.

The students bought burgers from three leading fast food outlets, and left them for to weeks to see which would grow the most mould.

One burger came out on top, growing significantly more mould than the other two, the students concluding this indicated it had the least preservatives.

Tyler Capes, Michael Airey and Bailey Smith tested fire fuel loads in three different locations, finding public land was safer than public reserves, while Brendan Reilly discovered motorbikes produced less carbon emission than cars.

Student Meerick Stanioch said his group, which also included Amy Veale and Sam Fankhauser, tested the speed of snails on a variety of surfaces.

“We had different materials, tilted them 45 degrees with beer at the end, because snails are attracted to beer,” he said.

The snails moved faster on cotton and red sandpaper, while black sandpaper did not work well.

“The snail didn’t event finish,” Meerick said.

“The slime didn’t stick and the snail slid right off.”

Other questions students sought answers to included at which water temperature glow sticks glowed the brightest, how fast different wheels turned with water and which mascaras lengthened eyelashes.