Cow Farts Update by Kiara

You may have read Grace’s post, the one about our science project. This is sort of the second instillation- the Part 2, if you will.

At the beginning of the year, Shauna caught word of ORSF, the Ottawa Regional Science Fair. No one was really eager to participate in the fair except for Grace, who, after the presentation, asked me if I wanted to help. I had no idea why she wanted me, of all people to help, but I said yes anyways.

Neither of us had any idea what we were going to do, but we had some ideas. Both of us are quite passionate about global warming, so we brainstormed some things and settled on the amount of methane that is emitted by livestock: specifically, cows.

While researching, we discovered that onions, garlic, and a special type of seaweed called asparagopsis taxiformis could reduce the methane produced by cows. We decided that asparagopsis taxiformis was our best option, because after eating it, the taste of the cows’ milk wasn't affected, which we could not say about the other 2. (besides, no one wants 24 pounds of garlic and onions)

Now we needed a methane detector. Our original plan was to use acidic water, but we decided not to, for good reason. Our second idea was to make one with an arduino, but that didn't work out either. We discovered that modern niagara, the company upstairs, had methane detectors, due to being a construction company. We sent an email to them and, after a few weeks, on the first evening that Jay visited the school we got to sheets of paper, one with a photo of the methane detector, and one with the manual.

I think that it was nice that Jay’s first impression of the school was seeing me and Grace and I rolling on the floor laughing and hugging each other in celebration. It was probably one of the happiest moments of my life, and during the Think Tank afterwards, I was extremely giddy.

We spoke to one of our mentors, Judith. A few days earlier, we had decided not to use seaweed, due to the fact that we couldn't find it anywhere. She told us that Oregano was effective as well, and even though it can’t reduce the methane levels quite as much, it still worked.

Some other things have happened, like finding an unpublished Chinese study, emailing some farms, and explaining our projects until our voices hurt, all leading up to now, where we are taking a bit of a break to write these.


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