The ideas and creations of Nelson's budding scientists and inventors were on show this week at the annual Cawthron Science and Technology Fair.
The projects represent more than 15,000 hours of research by students from 25 schools throughout Nelson-Tasman.
They were judged on ideas from how to take the sting out of chilli, to whether light absorption in ants might be the next big thing in designing solar panels.
The fair has been an established event on the region's school calendar for almost 30 years, with the aim of promoting science as a career. It was open to secondary school students, and every second year, primary school students were invited to take part.
Nelson's Cawthron Institute took over hosting and organising the event in 2011 as an extension of its community development programme.
Students who took part in the event conducted a scientific investigation, created a presentation board and were interviewed by judges who gave marks for presentation skills, interview responses and general understanding of the project, in addition to reporting on the experiment or research performed.
Motueka High School students Jack Gorrill and Jamie Jones discovered that saveloys were the best antidote for chilli burn with their project - A Bit Chilli.
Nelson Girls' College student Sam Scott has discovered a way to stop the strings snapping in her tennis racquet, while Frankie Matthews and Josephine Ripley sought answers to teen moods with their Phases of the Soul.
"We tested if the lunar cycle affected teenage girls' moods over the phase of a lunar cycle. We discovered that actually, there's no correlation with how people felt on the days of the lunar cycle, which is a little bit disappointing.
"But we still had quite a bit of fun surveying our classmates to see how they felt on each day," Frankie said.
The "no-poo" challenge created by Bea Dawson and Roz Walker turned heads, but viewers soon discovered it was a project delving into the mysteries of hair washing products. The students gave up commercial shampos but have since reverted using them after cider vinegar and baking soda failed to impress.
Senior student Sophie Law already has her sights set on a career in bio-medical engineering.
Her project, Nature by Design, is a springboard for studies she is to start at Auckland University next year.
"It's a graphics project that looks at incorporating bio-mimicry ideas into creating a structure that can be used in everyday life. I took ideas from things like birds and ants to combine into a bigger idea that reflects sustainable living."
Charmaine Gallagher, who teaches the aquaculture and marine conservation programme at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, was among the group of judges.
She said the event had become increasingly sophisticated and was a great showcase for some "bright young minds".
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony next month.