Hazelton Secondary School Grade 8 student, Cassie Penfold, earned a berth at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Prince Edward Island this May for her project titled “Soap versus Mould.”
The young scientist came up with her idea from things she saw in her day to day life, she said.
“I always look in the fridge and see mouldy cheese and if it’s not too bad we cut off the mould and give it to the dog,” she explained.
“And I always see anti-bacterial soap and because it says it kills 99.9 per cent of all bacteria I wanted to see if it would kill fungus too.”
This translates to her hypothesis that anti-bacterial soap would prevent the growth of mould on cheese.
To her delight, she was correct and constant applications of the antibacterial soap did indeed prevent the growth of mould.
While her experiment was a success she did admit she would like to take her current project to the next level before the Canada Wide competition and has decided to see if regular soap has the same affect on cheese or if it’s the antibacterial elements that prevented the fungal growth in her first experiment.
As for travelling to P.E.I., Penfold said while this is not her first trip to the east-coast province, she is very excited to have the opportunity to go and she is especially looking forward to the competition itself.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the other projects and how many different ideas as well as the high level of scientists that are there,” she said.
In addition the young scientist will not be travelling alone as former CWSF participant Alana Harrison will be going as one of seven ambassadors this year.
Harrison is no stranger to the world of science fairs.
Not only has she attended as a competitor but has also been very involved in the program throughout her time at Hazelton Secondary and even travelled back this year after her graduation to help out in her home town and is even helping Penfold prepare for her big debut which is very similar to that of her own when she attended the CWSF in Grade 8.
“Alana and Karen Price are helping me on how to do certain things and basically keeping me on track and making sure I am going where I want to go with this project,” Penfold said.
“I’m really excited.”
The competition is scheduled from May 12 − 19.
Information on the participating projects can be found on the CWSF webpage, cwsf.youthscience.ca.