Inside the minds of young scientists

Ever wonder what goes on in children’s and teenagers’ heads? The Rotary Science Fair this weekend might give you an insight into some of the workings of those young minds.

Some of Cayman’s budding scientists and engineers will be showing off their most ambitious, perplexing, surprising and, frankly, bizarre scientific projects in the Arts and Recreation Centre at Camana Bay on Saturday, 27 April. The annual event, now in its seventh year, aims to encourage an interest in science and problem solving, and to promote awareness of science and engineering as a career path.

The fair is open to the public from 10am to 3pm and is a great opportunity to see where enquiring minds will go.

Past projects that made a lasting impression on Greg Vasic, who organises the event, include a project making paper from ‘recycled’ pumpkins, an experiment to determine whether male or female hamsters could find their way around a maze fastest, and a test to assess how caffeine affected reaction time.

Students have been working on their projects, whether individual or group efforts, since February. The Science Fair will be their chance to show these off to the public. For viewers, Greg says, “You leave feeling encouraged that there are some great young minds out there.”

A panel twelve judges, all of whom are science graduates, engineers, architects or otherwise scientifically minded people, will begin judging the projects at 11am.

There are five broad categories and projects must fall into one of these. The young scientists will be judged on their research, methodology, analysis and more.

For each category first, second and third prizes are awarded. These are cash prizes of $3000, $2000 and $1000 respectively. The prizes will be held in trust and issued when the student enters college, university or a technical school.

Prizes aside, participating in the fair allows students to pursue a subject area that interests them, they learn scientific method, hone their oral communication skills, critical thinking – and most importantly, says Greg, they have fun.

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