San Andrea Senior School places Third in the NSTF Young Scientist Contest.
San Andrea Senior School took part in this year’s edition of the science competition organised by NSTF with the aim of encouraging students improve their investigative and creative skills in science. The goals of this national competition and the methodology used are very similar to the Stephen Hawking Science and Technology Project organized annually at San Andrea by the science department. The latter project involves all Grade 11 one year before their final year when they sit for their SEC examinations. The students in both contests have to organize themselves in teams, each team presenting a scientific investigation of their choice. For this reason and because it was not possible for our school to present the number of teams we desired, the NSTF project was limited to the Grade 10 and Grade 9s only.
San Andrea Senior School registered the following teams:
Team 1. Made up of Gabriel Dimech, Matthew Axiaq, Liam Caruana Montalto, Jonathan Sammut and Tammy Camilleri. The project these students presented was called The Sweet Tooth and they investigated the starch content of different types of apples. This involved studying differently coloured apples found on the market in Malta, and performing experiments to check which of the contained most starch. The team was supervised by their science teacher Mr. Jean Paul Buttigieg.
Team 2. Sarah Suleiman, Ella Busuttil and Saveria Cremona performed an experiment to study the micropropagation of endangered species of plants using the african violet as a sample. The scope was to establish a technique and apply it to the rare plants in order to repoplute the wild stock. The team was supervised by the Biology teacher Ms. Elaine Bajada.
Team 3. Jeremy Myatt, Andrew Curmi and Elena Pocock formed the team that managed to clinch third prize on a national level. This team had as a hypothesis the hunch that the school bell that announced the end/start of lessons was in excess of allowable sound levels. The investigation led them to record by means of a data logger and a computer the sound levels at San Andrea comparing it with readings taken at the Archbishop,s Seminary at Tal-Virtu’, another secondary school and in a busy street where heavy traffic was constantly passing by. Their findings were eventually presented to the School Administration because the level in the school corridor occasionally exceeded the 80 dB limit. The students were supervised by Physics teacher Mr. Paul P. Borg.
All three teams were also supported by the invaluable input of our Laboratory Technician Ms. Nady Mangion. The experiments were exhibited during an exhibition held between Sunday 3rd and Sunday 10th April at Villa Bighi, Kalkara. The grilling by the judging panel of experts was done on site at Villa Bighi where the teams had the actual apparatus and could explain their presentations, research, methodologies, conclusions and application of their investigation. During the whole contest teachers found also the cooperation of the parents who helped in the coordinated and the smooth running of things at Villa Bighi.