Cawthron Science & Technology Fair

Cawthron Science & Technology Fair

I had a stimulating day on Tuesday, photographing students and their projects at the annual Cawthron Science and Technology Fair.  It took a long time, I spent too much time talking with them about their work rather than getting on with the (voluntary) job.  But it was great fun, they are an interesting lot.  The range of projects was impressive.  Some were high-tech, based around their iPads, iPods etc:

They all reflected the interests of the student.  For example, this one with a psychology theme from a very stylish young woman, all about optical illusions:

I asked some to pose as scientists (I suggested a slightly puzzled demeanour, as if they didn’t quite know what to expect).  These two did well:

Some projects were an excuse to build cool stuff, like this guy who compared a catapult, trebuchet and crossbow:

The benefits of having a world class aquaculture lab at one’s disposal showed in several projects done at the Glen.  There is apparently an arrangement with NMIT’s aquaculture training centre which enables school students to experience several days out there.  Just look at these projects:

(that was a very impressive study on feeding  mussel larvae)

The title of the next one would interest psychotherapists, but they would be disappointed to learn hat it was about how mussel larvae settle and attach to solid objects – a critical phase in their life which sees most of them commit suicide (the mussel larvae, that is).

A very traditional science fair project, on the lift generated by various airfoil shapes, was very well done using quite simple gear:

With more than 60 finalists, the judges had a big job.  What a collection of judges too!  Here are two of the more distinguished ones (the director of our museum and an internationally recognised analytical chemist):


The entry which made the front page of our paper (in a much better photo than this one) involved dying experiments on real human hair:

Here’s the Nelson Mail photographer in action:

Competitors:  if you would like to see all of the shots taken that day, you can find them here.  Just contact me, either through this blog, the other on-line gallery or emailing me direct and I’ll send you a high-resolution copy (for free). (Check out my other photos too).

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