(Sandra, Bella & Elmer)
After garnering 5 awards during the Sichuan Science Fair, Sandra, Bella and myself were qualified as Intel ISEF 2014 finalists and had the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF Grand Finals in Los Angeles on May 11 – 17, 2014.
We came back from the US loaded with interesting stories and fun memories. Attending the Intel Science Fair was an amazing experience. Meeting many other students and some famous people and befriending them is already a huge achievement for us, knowing that these people came from all over the world. With all the fascinating activities we did and the tough challenges we had to overcome during the judging events, we consider ourselves to have been academically and socially enriched.
Also, going to America was one of my lifetime goals and I’m happy that I reached the goal at such a young age. Eating different kinds of burgers, sleeping in a very comfortable bed, meeting very nice and friendly people and communicating in English for the whole time were some of the things I really liked about my stay in the US – Elmer
WZIS Science Fair Winner Abstracts
Making Biodegradable Plastic from Lotus Roots
By David Ahn, David Kang, Jim & Clarke
Our project aims to recycle the lotus root to produce biodegradable plastic which decomposes much faster than normal plastics, and measure the time that the plastic made from lotus root decomposes in water. We set up hypotheses that as biodegradable plastic is made from starch and lotus root contains a high amount of starch, plastic can also be made from the lotus root, and also that plastic can be made from both the solid and liquid part of the lotus root slurry. The plastic is made using hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, distilled water and lotus root (and also other scientific apparatus). We tested it in water to for 68 hours to measure the rate of the dissolving plastic. In the first experiment, we found out that the plastic cannot be made from liquid part of the lotus root slurry. In the second experiment, we made a plastic from the solid part of part of the lotus root slurry. We evaluated our experiment and found that we didn’t follow exact numbers (like time or amount), so that was the thing to be improved. In the second experiment, out team improved by following the methodology very precisely and successfully made the plastic. We concluded that plastic can be made by using lotus root, especially the solid part of the lotus root slurry, but not the liquid part, and that the biodegradable plastic made from lotus root has potential to substitute the plastic which is currently used and cannot be decomposed, if the biodegradable plastic is improved by further research and experiment.
Eco-friendly water soluble film
By Jim, Jay & Christina
Our project aimed to investigate the potential of using water-soluble film for food packaging. The experiment answered 3 specific objectives. Firstly, we measured the melting point of the water soluble film. Secondly, we planned to find out whether the different solutions affect the solubility of the film. Lastly, we surveyed whether there’s a difference in the taste of foods when we put it in water soluble film . After we did our experiment, we reached these conclusions: water soluble film has a boiling point of over 230 ⁰C and it breaks up in 147.667 ⁰C. Also there’s some difference depending on the solution where we put water soluble film but it’s unnoticeable. Lastly, 52% people said there’s no difference in taste, 36% of people said there’s some difference but it still appetizing and the film is unnoticeable. However, 12% of people said it’s unappetizing. Over-all, with more improvements, the water soluble film should be used more for food packaging in order to decrease solid waste.
Preserving Fruits with Glycerol
By Peter, Edan & Sophia
Our project is to find a way to recycle the glycerol which is a waste product from biodiesel production. We wanted to find out which method of application is best at preserving the quality of fruits in terms of shelf life, texture and taste. Secondly, we wanted to know which concentration of glycerol solution produces the best results in preserving fruits. We made different concentrations of glycerol solution and we sprayed it on the fruit. On the other set, we submerged the fruits into the different concentrations of glycerol solutions. Finally from our experiments, we found out that spraying was better than submerging and that it was most effective on grapes. Also, we found out that a higher concentration of glycerol is better to preserve than that of the lower concentration.
The Effect of Different Frequency Sounds on the Sleeping Time of Children
Nowadays many children can’t sleep well. Research shows that music makes people relax. I wanted to know how the frequency of sound affects the children’s sleeping time and their ability to go back to sleep after their disturbed sleep. My project used three kinds of sound and six children of the same age. I let them sleep with the sound on different days and compared the effects of sound on the duration of sleep and on calming them down from their disturbed sleep. After this experiment I learned white noise is the best sound to make children sleep well.