200 students compete to solve big science challenges at Auckland Science and Technology Fair

Everything from eating brownies made with bugs to a substitute for stickers on fruit has had a scientific eye cast over it ahead of this year’s NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair. The annual fair, one of seven regional events sponsored by NIWA, has attracted more than 200 entries from 26 schools in the region and is being held on Friday and Saturday at Mr Roskill Grammar School.

The students are competing for a total of more than $9000, including the best overall exhibit.

Among the projects up for judging this year is a study called “Bug Buffet” in which students set out to prove that people will accept bugs as a food source by making brownies and performing a blind taste test to determine if cricket flour changed the taste.

One project entitled “A Sticky Situation” looks at creating a substitute for fruit stickers that is more environmentally friendly. The solution was a charcoal stamp. And another student has investigated the composition of landfills to find out what is releasing the most harmful greenhouse gases. NIWA freshwater ecologist and science fair coordinator Tracey Burton says the fairs are an important platform for students to think about and engage with science.

“For many young students, science fairs are the first time they will design and carry out their own scientific investigation. We hope the experience will inspire them to pursue careers in science and technology.”

Sponsoring science and technology fairs throughout New Zealand is part of NIWA’s long-term commitment to enhancing science and technology for young New Zealanders.

The NIWA Auckland Science and Technology Fair is open to the public on Friday 30 August from 6pm to 8pm and on Saturday 31 August from 10am to 5pm.

For more information: www.scifair.org.nz