Students bite into science

Great white sharks aren’t swimming around to be mean.

Great white sharks aren’t swimming around to be mean.

Myah Roberts, a Grade 5 student at Koinonia Christian School in Red Deer, learned a whole lot more about one of primary predators of marine animals.

She participated in the 30th annual Central Alberta Regional Science Fair held on Friday and Saturday at Red Deer’s Bower Place Shopping Centre.

“People think that great white sharks are just evil, killing machines and that they’ll just mindlessly kill people, just because,” said Roberts.

“They’re just trying to thrive and live like any other animal or human being.”

Roberts was intrigued to learn that sharks have a sixth sense.

They have receptors under their noses that can detect the slightest bit of electricity in the water, she said.

Mignione Vogel and Madison Tucker, Grade 5 students at Stettler Elementary School, researched about “sugar highs” and found something interesting too with their results.

They conducted a study using 13 subjects of various ages. Their blood pressure was initially taken, then they were given candy, and an hour later, their blood pressure was taken again.

“We found that most of the sugar lowered their blood pressure and that was very surprising,” said Vogel.

Tucker said that everyone was given 50 grams of sugar.

There was only one kind of candy, Berries Babies, that raised the blood pressure and they’re not sure why.

But it gave the girls some pause. Vogel said her grandmother, who has high blood pressure, wondered about having a piece of chocolate every day.

Wil Brennan and Damon Tanton, also in Grade 5 at Stettler Elementary, studied whether dominant features on a person such as what hand they like to use for writing, should determine how a person stands on a snowboard.

“We only surveyed real snowboarders,” said Brennan.

“If they were just guessing (on their stance) and they got it wrong, they have a higher chance of getting hurt,” said Tanton. “Turning would be harder.”

Hunter Grenier, a Grade 5 student from Delburne School, studied on how he could create clean water in Africa after he saw on the news how 6,500 people die each day from water-borne diseases each day there.

“And 5,000 of them were children,” said Grenier.

“I thought maybe I could help clean water and help people in Africa.”

He filtered Kool-Aid, tea and a dirt and oil mix. He used a small filter that had a layer of gravel, sand, charcoal and carbon paper.

“I found that some colour comes out, but not all of it,” said Grenier. “It works OK.”

Head organizer Ruth Roedler said they had more than 60 participants who lived from Cremona to Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House to Stettler.

The fair is a little down in attendance from last year, she said.

Finalists will go to Canada-Wide Science Fair being held in Lethbridge this May. The top results from the regional fair were unavailable on the weekend.

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