Projects bound to im­press

Pilbara News - - Education - Peter de Krui­jff

■ A Kar­ratha stu­dent has in­cor­po­rated fish­ing into her home­work to cre­ate a Pil­bara high school science pro­ject, which she hopes will win her a trip to China.

St Luke’s Col­lege stu­dent Maddy Wil­son, 15, is one of nine Pil­bara par­tic­i­pants from Scitech’s Bei­jing Bound pro­gram.

The pro­gram is run with sup­port from Rio Tinto, which pro­vides some of its grad­u­ates to the stu­dents as men­tors for their projects.

Maddy is con­duct­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­ject to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the thou­sands of milk­fish (chanos chanos) found in Dampier Salt’s pond zero.

The milk­fish are an in­tro­duced species which act as a nat­u­ral fil­ter, con­sum­ing the un­wanted nu­tri­ents from the sea wa­ter used in the salt-mak­ing process.

Maddy’s study will ex­am­ine the en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors that pro­vide live­able con­di­tions for the fish, in­clud­ing the pH level, con­duc­tiv­ity, salin­ity, and al­gal lev­els.

A cap­ture and tag­ging study will be con­ducted with a six-week gap.

Maddy hopes to cap­ture and tag at least 50 fish, but the angling chal­lenge will be see­ing how many of the same fish can be re­cap­tured af­ter the six weeks.

One hun­dred tags have been do­nated to Maddy’s pro­ject by mem­bers of the King Bay Game Fish­ing Club.

St Luke’s stu­dent Dy­lan Muller, 15, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing what the strong­est ca­ble-stayed bridge de­sign is.

There have not been many stud­ies into the topic, so Dy­lan will look at one as­pect, ca­ble an­gles, as a ba­sis for his ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

This experiment will test the vari­able of ca­ble an­gle in re­la­tion to strength.

St Luke’s stu­dent Av­inash Sud­hakaran, 15, will mea­sure the out­put and qual­ity of grey­wa­ter us­ing dif­fer­ent fil­ters to see if a gar­den drip ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem us­ing treated grey­wa­ter would be a cheap and ef­fi­cient so­lu­tion for re­duc­ing wa­ter con­sump­tion.

Sev­eral stud­ies have been done in Aus­tralia where re­searchers have tried to dis­cover tech­niques to re­use grey­wa­ter ef­fi­ciently.

The experiment will look to im­prove on pre­vi­ous tri­als to en­able grey­wa­ter re­use in the Pil­bara.

Pic­ture: Peter de Krui­jff

King Bay Game Fish­ing Club ju­nior co-or­di­na­tor Damien Day shows Maddy Wil­son, 15, how to tag a fish.

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