MONTREAL, May 19, 2016- The winners of the Canada-Wide Science Festival have been announced — with nearly $1 million in cash awards and scholarships having been awarded to the country's young scientists.
"Following days of presentations from 485 finalists hailing from 104 regional science fairs nationwide, we are proud to celebrate the impressive projects showcasing the hard work of Canada's top science, engineering, technology and math students," said Brad McCabe, executive director of Youth Science Canada, of which the Canada-Wide Science Festival is a program.
The 55th edition of the festival showcased youth from Grades 7 to 12, along with students from CEGEP in front of over 10,000 visitors at Montreal's McGill University. In partnership with The Educational Alliance for Science and Technology (EAST), the local host committee in Montreal, a festival highlight was astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, addressing participants as the keynote speaker.
Below are highlights from some of the top winners.
The Best in Fair recipient and Intermediate Platinum award went to:
Kayley Ting from Richmond Hill, Ont., for her project: Analysis of Electrodermal Activity to Quantify Stress Levels in Autism. The project established a method by which skin resistance readings can serve as early warning signs of a sensory meltdown in autism. Through monitoring electrodermal activity, Ting was better able to understand the severity and degrees of stress indicative of sensory overload. These findings can be applied to the development of a wearable device to assist individuals with autism.
The Senior Platinum award went to:
Katherine Teeter from Markdale, Ont., for her project: Synthetic Limpet Teeth for Improved Joint Performance. The construction of prosthetic implants by synthesizing the constituents of limpet teeth showed great potential as a viable alternative to current implants, according to Teeter's research. Combinations of chitin, goethite, chlorophyll extract, vitamin B12, and isopropanol were tested against existing prosthetic composites. The results: 581 physical, chemical, and biological stress tests concluded that synthetic limpet teeth prosthetic implants were more resilient and could reduce adverse health conditions associated with current prosthetics.
The Junior Platinum award went to:
Sophie Hoye Pacholek from Calgary, Alta., for her project: The Genius Genus: Aspen Adaptation. This project investigated if genetically identical clonal groups of naturally occurring aspen trees grew in a spatial pattern. When no definable pattern was observed in two mapped areas, an attempt to determine genetic relationships was initiated. DNA was extracted from catkin buds, PCR analysis was performed and the results showed that a subset of trees were not genetically related.
The finalists will display their projects one last time at the public viewing session on Friday May 20, 2015 at the Tomlinson Fieldhouse at McGill University from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Winners are available to speak with media after the award ceremony and Friday morning at the In Conversation with the Winners session from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
About Youth Science Canada
Since 1962, Youth Science Canada has been Canada's leading organization for the promotion of innovation and celebration of excellence in science, engineering and technology among our nation's youth. A national, registered charitable organization, Youth Science Canada provides or partners in programs to increase awareness and involvement of youth in science, engineering and technology to engage, mentor and recognize Canada's young scientists. The not-for-profit also engages leading public and private sector organizations in the development of a national science, engineering and technology network of Canadian youth.