Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Science Fair

I was approached about a week before our district science fair about heading up the project for our school.  In Samoan schools, the school sends a team to the science fair instead of individuals competing within a school.  So the Year 8s in my school came up with a 5 person team of girls who were very involved in science and English.  The principal asked me to come up with a project idea for the girls to work on and I decided to do “Composting as an Alternative to Burning Rubbish”.  Burning rubbish is wide-spread throughout Samoa and is the most common way to get rid of trash, dead leaves, and grass cuttings.  It’s actually caused a problem with soil replenishment because all of the dead leaves and grass is burnt instead of allowed to decompose.  So I proposed to teach the girls about composting as a way to prevent health effects from burning rubbish and to replenish nutrients into the soil.  So with a week to the science fair, the girls and I set off to Apia to do research for the project and to buy resources.  The girls were thrilled to get the day off of school and to get on the computers in Apia. 

The entire week we worked on the project to help the girls understand the material, practice their presentation, and work on the poster.  By the day of the presentation, they were completely ready to go.  The science fair was held at the local Palalaua College and Primary Schools from four different districts competed, all on projects pertaining to Adapting to Climate Change.  There were some really great projects there and I was worried about how my kids would do but I shouldn’t have even worried, the kids beasted their presentation and blew the judges away.  They placed 2nd overall and that qualified them to go on to the National Science Fair in Apia next month.  Just seeing the smiles on the girls faces made this whole last week of stress worth it.  They were thrilled beyond belief.  On the whole way back to the village the kids stood up in the back of the pickup and sang, holding their trophy above their heads.  It was quite a sight to see them so happy.

The girls, proud as can be!

Our lovely compost bin!


  1. What an awesome post to read! Congrats to the girls but also to you for your hard work. Some real change being made in Samoa!

  2. so awesome! Congrats to the girls for all their hard work and yay to you for helping them pull it together!!!!