Philippa and Georgina are in Second Year and have a wonderful idea for their Scifest competition. Philippa’s family have a number of horses and it has come to her attention that there is a large amount of heat generted in the manure heap. It may not be the cleanest job in the world but Philippa reckons she might be able to feed pipes through the manure heap and use it as a method to heat water.
They’re not so interested in whether or not this has commercial applications, merely in the science of how to get the most heat energy out.
I think it’s a wonderful idea – lots of variables to investigate- and has great potential.
We’re hoping to get quite a few students involved, and it occurred to me that this could be a really cool way to use blogs. Imagine if each group had their own blog, and could comment on each others’ projects. Serious potential for learning.
If anyone wants to advise on how best to approach this I would love to hear from you.
It would also bring them closer to how real science works. When I mentioned the possibility of blogging to the girls they were a little apprehensive of others stealing their ideas. Welcome to the world of science. Science has worked well in the past precisely because scientists were forced to publish their works in order to establish priority, yet they too had to be careful not to give away all their ideas.
One of the more well-known examples of this was the discovery of the structure of DNA by Crick and Watson. Watson wrote a wonderful book detailing his work at the time; this book – called The Double Helix – was highly controversial at the time because it turned out to be a warts-and-all approach, and many of the characters involved were not impressed with their portrayal.
The Double Helix on wikipedia
James Watson on TED.com