Vaiala Beach School (VBS) are the 2021 champions of Samoa’s National School Environmental Science Fair hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) as part of the Environment Week celebrations.
Nine Primary Schools entered science projects and according to Tone Simalu of the MNRE Forestry Research Development division, the competition was tough with many interesting angles taken by students to address the various topics.
“Students were able to either follow the science experiment as written, or put their own spin on the project,” said Simalu.
“The competition aims to raise awareness amongst students about various issues affecting the environment such as climate change, impacts of natural disasters and ways that can we can all work together to protect our environment”.
Mr Simalu said the Ministry were encouraged by the enthusiasm of the students and the quality of the projects.
Vaiala Beach School’s winning project demonstrated how carbon dioxide (CO2) affects the greenhouse environment.
VBS Founder and School Principal Ms Lorraine Williams said her students approached the project task by narrowing it down to a focus question, ‘To investigate if changing the concentration of CO2 increases the temperature of an enclosed system’.
“We are very proud of our students for what they’ve achieved today,” said one of Samoa’s longest serving educators.
“We would also like to commend and thank MNRE for this initiative”.
The Vaiala Beach School team were made up of five students from Year 8 and two students from Year 7. Their efforts were rewarded with 2 trophies, and cash prize of $600 tala as well as sports equipment for their school.
The topics varied and all examined important areas of the environment.
St Mary’s primary school compared and examined factors affecting the germination of native and non-native plants.
Leifiifi primary school examined different propagation methods for plants – comparing air layering (marcotting) propagation with the alternative seed and grafting methods.
Another project looked at how the protection of soil and land can lead to improving water quality and quantity while another project tested an option for renewable energy technology.
2021 Environment Science Fair in Photos