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Christchurch Girls' High School’s Kate Adams yesterday won the University of Canterbury scholarship prize at the Canterbury and Westland science and technology fair in Christchurch.
Adams receives a third off her fees in the first year, half in the second and totally free fees in her third year if she enrols for a bachelor of science degree or bachelor of speech and language pathology.
She is currently in year 12 and studying physics, biology and chemistry, year 13 maths with calculus, English and French, all of which she will continue with next year. She intends to take scholarship physics, calculus and chemistry this year.
At CGHS, Adams started a knitting club so that girls who didn’t know how to knit could contribute to a project where knitted squares were donated to make blankets for vulnerable people abroad.
While buying wool she noticed that one type was made from acrylic and casein, a protein in milk. She experimented with extracting casein from milk by curdling it with acid, and then straining the result to separate the curds from the whey.
She thought that the amount of solids might depend on the acidity or pH of the acid and set about investigating whether that was the case. After many trials she found that a pH of 4.7 resulted in the maximum mass of milk solids from her samples.