The Year of Science

Enter Contest

Seriously, can home remedies cure the hiccups?

Posted by on 8 June 2011

COQUITLAM – Do home remedies offer a cure for hiccups? That is the question asked in a YouTube video by 18-year-old Tamara Babcock, the fifth semi-finalist selected in the Year of Science “Choose Science, Go Far, Win Big” contest.

Babcock is a Grade 12 student at Gleneagle Secondary in Coquitlam. Her winning idea makes her eligible for the grand prize – a $25,000 scholarship to any B.C. post-secondary institution. In her entry, she points out that a number of home remedies claim to cure the hiccups, but questions if there is any truth to their claims. For example, will standing on your head and drinking a glass of water cure your hiccups? See the video for a demonstration.

Douglas Horne, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, presented Babcock with her $250 science-themed prize package in front of her classmates today. No headstands were required.

Based on the popular TV show, MythBusters, B.C.’s Year of Science video contest asked young people to upload videos of their ideas for science experiments or myths to be tested. All entries were submitted to a Year of Science YouTube channel at:

In total, six semi-finalists will be chosen before the grand prize winner is announced June 15.


Dr. Moira Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation –
“Tamara’s idea is amusing and provocative since, on occasion, hiccups have been known to last for days, even weeks. What is required is more research into the subject and that’s what this exercise is all about – stimulating curiosity and scientific enquiry among young people.”

Douglas Horne, MLA Coquitlam-Burke Mountain –
“We want to encourage young people to get excited about science and the science-related opportunities that exist in almost every occupation from developing the latest cellphone technology to winning the Stanley Cup, curing cancer or curing the hiccups. It all begins with asking questions about the world around you.”

Tamara Babcock –
“When I was younger I used to have a book that contained cures for the hiccups, and I always wondered how they worked. In my high school Biology class, the science behind the hiccups was explained, but not why these home remedies work. I want to know if they work and how.”

Quick Facts about the Year of Science:

  • Throughout the 2010-11 school year, the Year of Science has engaged young people in science by showcasing how science works, who scientists are, the kind of work they do and why science matters in our everyday lives.
  • B.C.’s future depends on a new kind of literacy in science, technology, math and engineering.
  • Over the next 10 years, approximately one in every eight job openings will be in a science-related occupation.
  • By encouraging young people of our province to pursue a science education today, they are being prepared for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to build a strong economy and bring about a brighter future for everyone.

View the winning entry under "Results" on the Year of Science YouTube page:

For more information on the Year of Science, go to:


Lauren Mulholland
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 952-0615

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

Click here to view the PDF.

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