The School Science Fair, which was held at International School Savremena, enabled Savremena’s students to enjoy their scientific adventure while discovering scientific phenomena.

This year’s topic was Red, Hot, Computers and Psychologists – RHCP 2019 and the students discovered hot topics in chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, computer science, sociology and economics. They carried out experiments and attended interesting lectures during which they enriched their knowledge in a fun way.

Biology, Physics and Chemistry

“I’m Hot, You’re Not” was the title of the lecture given by the Biology teacher. The students talked with their teacher about the evolution of spiciness and why we all love it so much. The main focus was on capsaicin and its medicinal usage. The students had the opportunity to try one of the hottest peppers in the world and compare its spiciness with peppers grown commercially in Serbia.

Biology and Physics teachers joined forces in an interdisciplinary lesson “Under Pressure”, where the students learnt about pressure and how it affects biological processes. They had a practical exercise where students portrayed as a blood vessel and changed the diameter so they could see on an example of how blood pressure works. They also tried to measure each other’s blood pressure and discussed what affects the changes.

Physics and Chemistry teachers showed the students the relationship between spectrum and temperature. Their lesson was “Hottest of Hot”. The Physics teacher defined black body radiation and from the spectrum, the students learnt to deduce the colour of the radiated light and then the temperature of the source body.

Based on that knowledge, they were able to deduce the temperature of faraway objects, such as stars and galaxies. They learnt that the hottest stars shine white, so Chemistry students demonstrated the combustion reaction of magnesium, which is highly exothermic and releases vast amounts of energy in the form of heat and bright white flames.

The second part of the lecture was a showcase of fireworks colours, rising due to the presence of specific metals in fireworks filling mixtures – barium burns with green flames, calcium with orange-red, sodium yellow, potassium lilac and copper blue.

The Chemistry teacher challenged the students by setting a banknote on fire after dipping it in alcohol and water mixture. As a grand finale, the teacher showed that it is possible to start a fire with a few drops of water if you know what to mix. The result was an extraordinary green fire.

Interesting Psychology Lectures

Psychology teachers prepared interesting lectures for the students and talked about body image, a phenomenon called synaesthesia and personal space. Ms Milena gave a lecture entitled “Is Hot a Psychological Not?” concerning body image and media pressure in everyday life. Students spoke about body image across cultures and how the “beauty”  phenomena changed during past centuries. They also discussed different eating disorders and learnt about body dysmorphic disorder, as well as how one deals with mental health issues concerned with one’s body figure.

On the other hand, Mr Željko introduced synaesthesia, a fascinating phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sense simultaneously produces a sensation in another sense. Year 13 students explored visual-auditory synaesthesia with the help of Digital Media and Design teacher. Entitled “Hot on the Senses”, the experimental study employed an online Google Forms questionnaire using famous works of modern art, such as De Kooning’s Painting, Warhol’s Mao Portraits and Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow, as stimuli. The students hypothesized that paintings with more intense colour saturation and more detailed textures would be rated subjectively louder on a 7-point Likert scale.

The term “personal space” refers to a buffer zone around the body which we consider our own. It is largely unconscious and changes in size, depending on context. We only become aware of its existence when it is encroached upon. The students wanted to find out how students studying alone in the cafeteria would respond to having their personal space invaded by another student – an experimental stooge (male or female) in two sitting positions (wide vs regular). The results of the study, entitled “Too Hot to Handle” and presented at this year’s Science Fair to a captivated audience, showed that the mean time to leave was just 1 minute 36 seconds. However, no effect of sitting style and stooge gender was registered.

Computer Science

The Computer Science teacher showed in a fun way how to detect students who don’t wear uniforms using “AI (object detection system)”. The main goal was to detect the colour of the students’ uniforms. They explored part of the machine learning and artificial intelligence called Deep Learning. For the object and person detection, on the images they used the YOLO (You Only Look Once) real-time object detection system.

Economics – A visit from the Belgrade Banking Academy

The Economics teacher organised a visit from the Belgrade Banking Academy whose representative talked with the students about crypto currencies, the differences between traditional and crypto currencies bitcoins and strategic investment decisions. 

Yet another very useful lecture was held thanks to Ms Milić and PWC(PricewaterhouseCoopers) representatives. The lecturer, Nikola Grozdanić, an experienced HR consultant, taught the students how to choose a carrier and set up their goals in the following 1-3 years. The students learnt how to write a professional CV and how to prepare for university or a job interview.

A fun debate called “Science vs Religion”

Sociology and Mathematics teachers organised a fun debate called “Science vs Religion” where each side tried to defend their own perspective. Year 12 student Sara Čučaković and the Sociology teacher argued that science is the creative force that allows society to work as a well-oiled machine, while Ana Jeremić, a Year 13 student, and the Mathematics teacher promoted the idea that religion provides the base upon which society can work.

The debate was held in the school restaurant in front of all the students and teachers. The visit to the School Science Fair was a great chance to bring science closer to students. In addition, Savremena’s students gained substantial knowledge, learnt about exciting scientific discoveries and had fun.

Chech out more photos HERE.