Junior scientists from across the country gathered in Bible Hill to compete in a agricultural science fair.
A selection of 18 finalists presented their projects to the public and judges during the third annual 4-H Canada Science Fair hosted at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus on Friday, showcasing a variety of different agriculture-based experiments.
“My project was about extracting Chitin and Chitosan from lobster shells using a cost-effective method involving household products,” said Naleah L. from Prince Edward Island.
“Chitin and Chitosan can both be used to create a biodegradable plastic, and can be used in water processing plants, cosmetics for a seed coating to protect from fungus, so they have a lot of industrial uses.”
Using vinegar and lye as substitutes for hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, Naleah was able to cut the cost of extracting Chitin by 10.5 times per 100 grams from its original cost, and by 7.5 times for Chitosan.
Cost effectiveness, safer processes and clever innovation using household items were other topics explored within the 14 projects on display, ranging from studies on intelligence based on nature versus nurture, choosing the best feed to make productive calves and even eating bugs as a form of protein.
“Originally, I planned to do project on bilingualism, but had to end up cancelling because I didn’t have enough time. I had to find a new project, which is when my mom suggested crickets,” said Amanda H., whose project was called Crickets For Lunch.
“My project takes a look at using a food waste diet to raise the common household cricket to use for human protein. I used a dehydrated food waste diet and fed it to crickets for two weeks until they reached adulthood. Because these crickets would be used for human consumption, their diet gives them much more protein than a normal cricket.
“I still haven’t tried one, although I think I may soon. The ick factor is slowly going away.”
After the final judging on Friday, the finalists were invited to the Discovery Centre in Halifax to take a tour before setting up their projects for the public to view.
A selection will be made from the final judging at a later date to decide who of the finalists will continue on to the Canada-wide science fair later this year.
LIST OF FINALISTS
Mac D., British Columbia
Lara and Liesl S., Alberta
The Impacts of Applying Various Cleaning Solutions in Terms of Biosecurity
Amanda H., Alberta
Crickets for Lunch
Grace C., Alberta
The Effects of Dirty Water and Dehydration on Horses
Ruby and Isobel K., Saskatchewan
Analyzing the Growth of Microgreens, Using a Refractometer
Danielle S, Manitoba
Which Contributes More to High Intelligence: Nature or Nurture?
Madison C. and Madison E., Ontario
How Feed Can Affect Milk Production in Dairy Cattle
Andrew J., Ontario
Milk Feeder Fever
Michael J., Ontario
Spencer S., New Brunswick
Neleah L., Prince Edward Island
Cost-Effective Extraction of Chitin and Chitosan from Lobster Shells
Chelsey M. and Caelan D., Nova Scotia
Bathing Suit Pillow Cases
Mikaela R., Nova Scotia
Are We Targeting the Wrong End of the Leash?
Alicia W., Newfoundland
How Efficient Are Your Calves?