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Division science fair coming up

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Is multi-tasking driving us to distraction?


That’s the idea behind one of more than 150 projects that will be featured as part of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division’s annual science fair Wed., April 4 at St. James Collegiate and George Waters Middle School.


Grade 9 students Chris Lansang and Annie Ross teamed up for the project, had a group of students take in auditory and visual information simultaneously and tested them against a group only doing one task at a time.


"Certain parts of your brain take in things when you’re focusing on only one thing," said Ross, who attends Sturgeon Heights Collegiate.


"But when you’re focusing on two things at once, it just kind of passes right through into a part of your brain that only holds on to things for a short amount of time."


As students, the pair identify with the evolving teaching styles that are transforming classrooms.


"Naturally as students we want to further our classrooms because we’re still in school. We see these things in day to day experience," Lansang said.


Grade 6 to 12 projects will be on display and judged in the morning, with Grade 3 to 5 projects judged in the afternoon. The public is invited to a public viewing from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place at 7 p.m.


Jason Braun, vice-principal of Westwood Collegiate and one of the chairs of the divisional science fair, said projects are trending away from cause and effect analysis.


"Projects are tending to look at what is going on in the environment and world around us, not only in our own backyard, but around the planet, and influences out there that are affecting our ecology," he said.


Robotics and technology are also a growing trend, and how the two affect society’s living standards, he added.


The projects are leading to more opportunities for students to work with university professors in their research areas, Braun said.


"(Students) are looking outside their school for research opportunities, and are doing more in depth research," he said. "They’re not afraid of the harder science."

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Twitter: @metroWPG

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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