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Student’s science fair project does double duty

Monday, 21 August 2006

Student’s science fair project does double duty

When James Duncan needed a project for the 2006 MIT Manukau Science and Technology Fair, sports science was the logical choice for this Year 9 student at Botany Downs Secondary College.

James needed to get fit for winter rugby and squash, so he joined the local gym and got to work on both his fitness and his science project – halving his time for a 3km run in the process.

Along with his mother, James joined the Lloyd Ellsmore gym in Manukau and the pair started running every second day. James says they measured their progress against the initial fitness tests over a six-week period with excellent results.

“When I started it took me 21 minutes to do the run, but by the end of six week, my time was down to 12 minutes and 28 seconds. It was also interesting to compare results with the two different age groups,” says James.

James has entered his project in the Living World category, and says he hopes his project will do well in the regional competition after gaining third place in the school science fair at Botany Downs Secondary College.

Students from more than 20 schools are competing across 14 categories, and will be judged on scientific thought and understanding, originality and invention, thoroughness and effort, and technical skills and presentation.

First prize is a $4000 scholarship or $1000 cash from Manukau Institute of Technology, which is one of the principal sponsors of the event.

Organiser Jeffrey Collie says the aim of the event is to promote quality scientific investigation and “encourage excellence”.

“With the high quality of prizes on offer to our local students, we also get to reward their efforts,” says Jeffrey who teaches science at Pukekohe High School.

The MIT Manukau Science and Technology Fair is being held at Manurewa High School and will be judged on 20 August. Interested members of the public can view the fair Monday,t August from 9am – 8 pm, and on Tuesday, 22 August from 9am to 4 pm.


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