During Science Week, Year 9 students were introduced to the reasons why various fruit and vegetables go brown when cut, and the food wastage that results. After learning about what causes this reaction, students were tasked to design an experiment to test how they could prevent apples from browning. Some effective methods were possibly not so tasty (eg: vinegar and salt water), but they did work remarkably well. Students were also able to observe how different varieties of apples brown at different rates, with Granny Smith being a clear winner by staying the freshest for the longest!
Year 7 students had great fun designing and building food packages for Science Week. The packages had to be environmentally safe and sustainable, and also meet all of the criteria for commercial viability. Once built, they were tested with samples of food and then judged by staff. Some students also took the opportunity to create posters.
The scientific validity of the “5 Second Rule” food contamination myth was investigated by Year 8 students, who exposed apples to a dirty surface (the floor) for different lengths of time and swabbed any present bacteria onto an agar dish. The agar was then allowed to culture for 48 hours before being analysed. Students drew conclusions based on their results. According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety: “Regardless of the type of food that lands on the floor, there can be little doubt that floors and other surfaces carry a high risk of contamination. Shoes have been found to be one of the main culprits when it comes to spreading bacteria between floors.”