Canada’s science-fair season wrapped up last week at the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) held in Fredericton, NB, with 6 students representing the Halifax region joining nearly 500 students in grades 7-12 from throughout Canada. The Halifax contingent brought home 4 medals, and a special Challenge Award, bringing home $7,250 in scholarships and prizes.
Rachel Brouwer (grade 8 student at Bedford Academy) led the team with a Gold Medal in the Junior Category for her project ‘Can We Improve the Quality of Water in Developing and Third World Countries?’. Gold Medals were awarded to the Top Ten projects in each of the three age categories Junior (grades 7-8), Intermediate (grades 9-10), and Senior (grades 11-12). Brouwer’s was one of the two Gold Medals earned by the Nova Scotia team this year. This marks the 4th year running that a Halifax student has earned a Gold Medal at CWWF, following on those of Robert MacDonald in 2014 (J.L. Ilsley High School, Senior Gold), Julia Sarty in 2013 (Citadel High School, Intermediate Gold), and Tara Lanteigne in 2012 (Bedford Academy, Junior Gold). Brouwer also received the Environment Challenge Award as the best Junior project in the area of environmental issues with a focus on reducing our impact on, improving our understanding of, and ensuring the quality of water, air, soil, and the diversity of living things. These awards also build on Brouwer’s Silver Medal received at CWSF 2014 in Lethbridge.
Bronze Medals were also awarded to three other HRM students: Fiona Ewart (Grade 8, Gorsebrook Junior High School) in the Junior Category for her project ‘Early immunological experience and the development of allergies’; James Davy (Grade 9, also from Gorsebrook Junior High School) in the Intermediate Category for his project ‘The Affect of Fatigue on a Soccer Player’s Ability to Perform Skills’; and Kate He (Grade 9, Park West School) in the Intermediate Category for her project ‘Can Parkinson’s Disease Be Cured through Neurogenesis?’ The Halifax region’s team competing at CWSF was rounded out by David Sapp (Grade 9, Fountain Academy of the Sacred Heart) and Julian Oxner (Grade 8, Halifax Grammar School).
All six of the CWSF Finalists from the HRM region earned their spot to compete at the national science fair by winning a Grand Award at the Halifax Sci-Tech Expo which was held at Saint Mary’s University on March 27, with the expenses to attend covered by the generous sponsorship of partners: Halifax Regional School Board, Natural Forces, Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, and Heritage Gas. Next year’s Halifax Sci-Tech Expo will be held on April 1, 2016, at Saint Mary’s University – students from throughout the HRM will be able to enter their science fair projects through their school to compete for six more spots to attend CWSF 2016 in Montreal next May.
Project summaries and participant biographies from CWSF’s website are linked below: