Each year, Year 9 students complete an independent research project that they present as part of the Science Fair. Students are required to carry out a practical investigation to collect data on a question of their choosing. This task allows students to develop a range of skills including researching and planning, as well as data collection, processing, and analysis.

This year’s stand-out investigations included a small-scale study suggesting that playing high-frequency sound at plants increased their rate of growth, and an investigation into which type of basketball shoe resulted in the most friction. 

Here are some student reflections on the process:

Wesley:

This week’s Science Fair was perhaps one of the most unforgettable experiences I've had in Key Stage 3. My group’s experiment was to test the speed of sound and to do that, we measured the time it takes for one to hear a sound from a certain distance. Surprisingly, the sound of speed was about five times faster in water than in air. While we couldn't experiment in school due to area limitations, we were fortunate enough to be able to do the experiment during weekends and then bring the results to the school. 

As I was paired with classmates I was not already friends with, this was a perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other and have fun learning together. This was an excellent learning experience for all of Year 9 as we were able to select and plan the entire Science project ourselves. Through the process, we learned how to gather resources, figure out methods, and create presentations and results for our project. Overall, this was a great learning opportunity, and I hope I will be able to do this again in the future. 

Athena, Deana and Meredith:

Our group decided to dive deeper into the science of crystal formation, following the path of our last Science class topic, Metals and Reactivity. All three of us were extremely engrossed by the seemingly simple yet complicated ideology of chemistry, thus, we deemed this the perfect project.

Throughout the four weeks of experimentation, we ran into several arduous problems such as the crystals failing to form and our hypothesis being completely wrong, but we overcame this by working together as a team and even doing extra work during lunchtimes so we could finish this project within the deadline. Though the process wasn’t easy, the results were immensely rewarding as we gained an abundance of new scientific knowledge such as the fact that hotter acidic solutions would form heavier crystals, and the displacement reactions between copper oxide and sulphuric acid when they are mixed. Although the experiment had a few flaws, in the end, we were very proud of our work since this science fair made us learn several fascinating things and acquire these priceless memories.

Having this rare opportunity to instigate a Science project of our own has been incredibly valuable and fulfilling as it taught us important life skills such as teamwork and time management. We also got to experience independence as well as the responsibility that came with it. This experience enhanced our knowledge of Science and strengthened our bond as a team. Although the Science Fair has come to an end, we will forever treasure these memories.