The quirks and quarks of Science Fair '98 Whistler Grade 7 & 8 students showcase their brainiac abilities Photos by Chris Woodall Whistler Secondary School Grade 7s and 8s had their annual science fair, Feb. 26, in the school gym, demonstrating a lot of imagination and curiosity in the creation of their projects. Gold, silver and bronze medals, plus honourable mentions, went to 12 projects. They will go on to represent Whistler at the regional science fair held at the University of British Columbia, April 2-4. Gold medalists are: (Grade 7) Roxanne Beswetherick and Sonya Schaap for Which (cleaning) formula works best?; (Grade 8) Kyle Treleaven and Dominique Gendreau for The effect of cigarette smoke on plants. Silver medalists are: (Grade 7) Hailey DeKraker for Constellations; (Grade 8) Jennifer Pringle and Katherine Rybar for The effects of light and heat on potatoes. Bronze medalists are: (Grade 7) Jessica Montgomery and Bronson Moore for How does the heart work?; (Grade 8) Ashley Farr and Danielle Ayearst for Nearsighted and farsighted: The effects to your vision; Rebecca Buckman and Teresa Bate for Pleasure or poison: four plants tell the story; and Scott Barr for El Niño. Honourable Mentions go to Melissa Meyer and Elexa Hourdebaigt for Speed: take-off and rotation; Rhett Vernon Jarvis and Jamie Kutaj for Echolocation; Charlotte Whitney for Shells and Spirals; and Jamie McCance and Christen Young for their Composterator. Here's a look at all the brain-twisting action: o 1 — Ryan Black and Nick Roberts demonstrate the wind-proof properties of a tower windmill. o 2 — Which cleans better: natural or chemical cleansers? Sonya Schaap and Roxanne Beswetherick found that chemical cleaners work a little better, but the fumes and environmentally unfriendly chemical containers means "Everyone should use natural cleaners." o 3 — Robyn Pratt demonstrates — with the assistance of Sally Reid — the tools that help someone with multiple sclerosis live a full life. The disease affects the fatty "insulation" of the body's nervous system, causing it to "short out" as the disease takes hold. o 4 — If it looks good, it must taste good, right? Lauren Collins (with the Smartie) and Sally Reid (with the marshmallows) discovered that smell affects 66 per cent of taste, sight affects 25 per cent and taste (plug your nose and close your eyes) accounts for just 9 per cent of taste. o 5 — When the owner's away, the dog can feed itself with Jeff Waters's ingenious invention. When the pet steps on the paddle (below) a cascade of kibble drops into bowser's bowl. Patent it quick, Jeff! o 6 — Mother Nature works in free-form ways, Charlotte Whitney discovered, when she measured the shapes of spirals of shellfish, like this conch she found on a B.C. beach. "I thought the spirals would grow perfectly around, but I found they didn't." o 7 — Jamie McCance and Christen Young are on a mission to save the world with their original idea "The Composterator." The model held by Christen shows how it works: put the drum in the basement, but connect it to the kitchen sink. As the garburetor grinds food, the food remains in the drum that you can then dump in the garden. Pique Newsmagazine’s pick for best idea of the show. o 8 — Guide dogs go through a lot of training before they sign on to a blind person. German shepherds and Labrador retrievers make the best guide dogs, learned Stephanie Just and Catie Lee Jacobse, showing a real harness and how it looks on a model dog made by Stephanie. o 9 — Rocket car maker Jason Martin finds that looks (left) don't count for much when you want the vehicle to go real fast (right). o 10 — There you are stuck in the forest with a bag of marshmallows and no matches. Mike Daugulis and Cam Frisk found that a recycled pop bottle, some tinfoil and a coat hanger for the rotisserie makes for a solar-powered cooker, although they used a heat lamp to prove the point. Mmm-mmm good work, boys.