I’ve got two items (h/t to Speaking for Canadian Science) which highlight exciting, recent news about Canadian youth and science. The first item concerns Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair and the impact Canadian young scientists had on the 2015 edition of the fair. From a May 15, 2015 news item on CNN,
A Vancouver [Canada] high school student was awarded first place for engineering a new air inlet system for airplane cabins to improve air quality and curb disease transmission at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.
Raymond Wang, 17, invented a system that improves the availability of fresh air in the cabin by more than 190 percent while reducing pathogen inhalation concentrations by up to 55 times compared to conventional designs, and can be easily and economically incorporated in existing airplanes. Wang received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.
“Using high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics modeling and representative physical simulations, Raymond’s work has significantly enhanced our understanding of how disease-causing pathogens travel via circulating airflow in aircraft cabins, and has also helped him to develop multiple approaches for reducing disease transmission in these types of settings,” said Scott Clary, Ph.D., Intel International Science Engineering Fair 2015 engineering mechanics category co-chair and electromechanical engineering manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
Team Canada had a superior showing at this year’s fair with 11 students winning awards.
Nicole Ticea, 16, also of Vancouver, received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000 for developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use testing device to combat the high rate of undiagnosed HIV infection in low-income communities. Her disposable, electricity-free device provides results in an hour and should cost less than US$5 to produce. Ticea has already founded her own company, which recently received a US$100,000 grant to continue developing her technology.
“With a focus on science, technology, education and math, key pillars of a competitive and robust Canadian economy, these students showcase how competitive Canadians can be on a global scale,” said Nancy Demerling, marketing manager, Intel Canada.
Additional awards were presented to the following Canadian students:
- Candace Brooks-Da Silva (Windsor, ON): Second Award of $500, Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Top Award of $5,000, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Alternate for CERN trip, European Organization for Nuclear Research-CERN; Second Award of $1,500, Engineering Mechanics
- Emily Cross (Thunder Bay, ON): First Award of $1,000, American Geosciences Institute; Fourth Award of $500, Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Benjamin Friesen (Grimsby, ON): Award of $5,000 for outstanding project in the systems software category, Oracle Academy
- Ann Makosinski (Victoria): First Award of $500, Patent and Trademark Office Society; Fourth Award of $500, Energy: Physical
- Daniel McInnis (Ottawa): Third Award of $1,000, Computational Biology and Informatics
- Aditya Mohan (Ottawa): First Award of $2,000, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; First Award of $3,000, Biomedical and Health Sciences
- Janice Pang (Coquitlam, BC): Fourth Award of $500, Biomedical and Health Sciences
- Amit Scheer (Ottawa): Second Award of $1,500, Biomedical and Health Sciences
- Duncan Stothers (Vancouver): Sustainable Design In Transportation, First Award $2,500, Alcoa Foundation; Second Award of $1,500, Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc.; Second Award of $1,500, Engineering Mechanics
- Nicole Ticea (Vancouver): USAID Global Development Innovation award of $10,000, U.S. Agency for International Development; Award of $1,200, China Association for Science and Technology (CAST); Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Best of Category Award of $5,000, Biomedical and Health Sciences; First Award of $3,000, Biomedical and Health Sciences; Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award, Intel Foundation Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award $8,000
- Raymond Wang (Vancouver): First Award of $1,000, Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Third Award of $1,000, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Best of Category Award of $5,000, Engineering Mechanics; First Award of $3,000, Engineering Mechanics; Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award, Intel Foundation Cultural and Scientific Visit to China Award $8,000
This year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured approximately 1,700 young scientists selected from 422 affiliate fairs in more than 75 countries, regions and territories.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, approximately US$4 million was awarded.
Two provinces seem to have dominated the Canadian field, Ontario and British Columbia. The lack of representation at the award-winning level from the other provinces may signify a lack of awareness in the Prairies, Québec, the North, and the Maritimes, about the festival and, consequently, fewer entries from those provinces and territories. On a whim, I searched for an Intel Canada presence and there is one, in British Columbia. Interesting but not conclusive. In any event, congratulations to all the students who won and those who participated!
There was another science fair, this one, the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF), took place in Fredericton, New Brunswick (Maritimes). From a May 12, 2015 news item on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) news website,
Almost 500 provincial science fair winners are competing for more than $1 million in prizes, scholarships and awards this week in the Canada Wide Science Fair in Fredericton.
The Currie Center at the University of New Brunswick is packed with booths in neat rows with topics ranging from preventing ice drownings to better ways to carry a kayak.
Paransa Subedi, a Winnipeg student, is studying how much sugar gets into your blood stream from breakfast cereal.
“We know that Rice Krispies have very little added sugar, but the thing is its all starches, so over time it has a high glycemic response,” she says, as she cuts up a cereal box to add to her display.
Judging is happening all day on Tuesday. Four judges will look at each project and they will reach a consensus to determine the winner.
Judith Soon, a national judge, says 50 per cent of the mark is for the “creative spark.”
“The most important part is being creative and original and it has to be their idea,” she said.
A May 15, 2015 CWSF news item by Dominic Tremblay for the Youth Science Canada (the CWSF’s parent organization) website lists the 2015 winners of the top prizes,
The Best Project Award went to:
Austin Wang from Vancouver, BC, for his project: A Novel Method to Identify Genes in Electron Transfer of Exoelectrogens. Austin’s project identified genes in bacteria that are responsible for generating power in a microbial fuel cell. His work is making an incredible impact on understanding the biology of how these systems work.
Platinum Awards of $1,000 were awarded to:
Rebecca Baron from Vancouver, BC, for her project: Root Microbiomics: The Next Big Thing? Her project looked at using a common household plant to remove toxins from the air. She found that the microbes in the root of a particular plant are highly successful in removing airborne formaldehyde. Her work has the potential to make an impact on bioremediation of indoor air quality.
Marcus Deans from Windsor, Ontario for his project: NOGOS: A Novel Nano-Oligosaccharide Doped Graphene Sand Composite Water. For his project he created a filter out of sugar and sand that can successfully clean water to commercial standards, all with materials under $20 total. He hopes that his work can go a long way to providing cheap and effective water filters for the developing world.
Congratulations to the top prize winners, winners, and all the participants!
You can find the full list of 2015 award recipients here. where you will find several other provinces also well represented.