With projects ranging from biology to physics and everything in between, young science students recently wowed judges with their impressive efforts at the Dr. Bill Hrudey Science Fair.
The fair was held at the Arts and Recreation Centre at Cayman International School on Saturday, April 23.
“Rotary Central Cayman Islands is pleased to have the annual science fair as one of our major annual projects,” said Rotary Central Cayman Islands secretary William Inniss.
“This is an example of where some of the music extravaganza ticket sales funds, which is one of our major fundraisers along with the bus shelters, [are] invested each year, not to mention the planning and volunteer time donated by our Rotarians.”
He noted this is the 10th annual Rotary science fair, which was renamed last year in honor of fair founder Bill Hrudey, a past Rotarian.
This year, 97 students entered 60 projects in the competition. Almost 200 participants, volunteers and well-wishers attended the awards banquet, according to Mr. Inniss.
First place winner Johnathon Bedasse in the physics, chemistry, and computer science category, also received the Cayman Enterprise City’s Most Innovative award. Johnathon’s project, titled Microbial Fuel Cell, examined how decomposing waste can generate small amounts of electricity, comparing cow manure with swamp sludge.
Microbial fuel cells take electrons released through oxidization from electrochemically active bacteria and put them to use.
“He found that the swamp sludge in his experiment produced a higher voltage than the cow manure, showing how microbial fuel cells using that source might be a viable type of renewable energy in the future,” said his mother Gillian Bedasse.
First place winners in each category received $1,500, second place winners received $1,000, and third place prizes were $500.
The Most Innovative project prize winners, the age 10-11, and age 9 and under best project categories received $1,000 each, with the prize money split equally if a group project won, or if there was a tie.
In the Earth Science: Environment, Weather, Astronomy and Ecology category, first place went to Dilan Tatum of Layman E. Scott High School, for his project “How length of the blade of a windmill changes the energy output.” Second place went to Zandie Smith and Vasti O’Connor of John Gray High School, and tied for third place were Georgina Healey of Grace Christian Academy and Caitlyn Darby of Cayman Prep and High School.
In the Food and Health category, first place was awarded to Nicholas Corin of Cayman International School for his project on the impact of hand-eye coordination on memory recall. Second place went to Benjamin Tatum of Triple C School, and the third place prize went to Olivia Zimmer of Grace Christian Academy.
In the Life Science category, which included micro-biology, botany or zoology, first place went to the team of James Banks, Iona Nicol and Joanna Robinson of First Baptist Christian School who looked at using a solar oven to heat food and water and to cook.
The second place prize went to Erika Sobers and Justine Rhule of St. Ignatius Catholic School, and third place was awarded to Phillip Whan Tong of Cayman International School.
In the Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science category, winner Johnathon Bedasse had some hot competition from second place winner Thomas James Sevik Jr. of Layman E. Scott High School, and Lucas Tatum of Triple C School.
The winners of the Best Project awards were Connor Finch of Cayman International School in the 10 or 11 year old category for his project on the comparative effects of Coke, Diet Coke and soda water on teeth, and Ethan Anderson and Caleb Suckoo of First Baptist Christian School in the age 9 and under category won for their project on a passive hot water heater.