Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize

When Ignatius "Iggy" Fox discovered his hens were laying bumper eggs after breaking into the worm farm, the budding scientist knew he had some questions that needed answering - and a lot of omelettes to eat.

So, the Year 5 Oyster Bay Public School student set about devising an experiment to test his hypotheses that extra protein ingested from the worms, had contributed to the extra large eggs and that different types of feed affected the size and weight of free-range eggs.

His curiosity and resultant video project, 'Egg-normous', won him the recent 2012 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for primary schools.

For nearly four months, Iggy painstakingly recorded the eggs' size and weight, plotting the results on a graph.

He said it was clear the eggs were bigger and heavier when the hens ate more protein - and weighing in at up to 120 grams each, even bigger than the extra-large-sized eggs on the supermarket shelves.

"I stopped feeding lots of high protein though, because the chooks seemed to go a bit crazy and were laying eggs everywhere," he said.

Reflecting on his win, Iggy said he was excited and grateful to have been introduced to science as a young child by his grandparents.

He said he hoped to work with animals or in sound recording for games and films.

"Whatever I do (this experience has taught me) I can make a positive difference to the world, and that is what I want to do the most," he said.

Oyster Bay Public School principal Mark Meacham said Iggy decided to enter the Eureka Prize after winning the Stage 2 division at the Wollongong Science Fair last year with his 'egg-normous' findings.

"Assistant principal Donna Wallace coordinates our entries and organises a mentor from the University of Wollongong to work with our students," he said.

"The students work really hard and it's terrific that Iggy has done so well with this project. The school is very proud of what he's achieved."

The University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize for primary and secondary students is awarded for a short film that communicates a scientific concept in an accessible and entertaining way.

It is sponsored by Sydney University's Faculty of Science. As part of their prize, all winners and place-getters spend a science day with 'sleek geeks' Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer at the University of Sydney.

Find out more information about the Eureka Prize.

Photo: Ignatius "Iggy" Fox (centre) with broadcasters Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.


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