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Curious youth captivated by urban snakes, laser microphones and more

Diverse projects earn university-sponsored awards at Calgary Youth Science Fair
April 22, 2015
Colette Benko, a Grade 9 student from St. Gregory School, proudly shares her youth science fair project, Investigating Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Exosomes. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Colette Benko, a Grade 9 student from St. Gregory School, proudly shares her youth science fair project, Investigating Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Exosomes. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary 

Amanda Black, a PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, and University of Calgary Chancellor Robert Thirsk speak to students at the Calgary Youth Science Fair. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Amanda Black, a PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, and University of Calgary Chancellor Robert Thirsk speak to students at the Calgary Youth Science Fair. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary 

Chancellor Thirsk writes a personal message to a young science fair participant, whose project was on space transportation. The young boy had a photo of Thirsk with the title “Our Heroes” on his project.

The public was welcomed to campus on Saturday to view the 53rd Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF) at the Olympic Oval. Of the over 1,000 students who participated in the fair, 13 finalists will move on to attend the Canada-wide Science Fair, held in Fredericton, New Brunswick from May 10-17, 2015. Lilian Zhang, previously profiled in UToday, is among those who qualified.

While the students’ projects received their final review before the awards ceremony, everyone was encouraged to interact with various exhibits in the Science Lab. The Science Lab highlighted a few of the many research areas being conducted at the university, including: Faculty of Kinesiology, Cumming School of Medicine, Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Geomatics Engineering, Libraries and Cultural Resources and Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA).

Prior to the awards ceremony, students were excited to see and interact with Chancellor Robert Thirsk. The chancellor had the opportunity to view some of the students’ projects and speak with kids about their aspirations for science in their future and encouraged them to apply to the University of Calgary.

During the awards ceremony, the chancellor handed out many of the awards sponsored by the university, including the top prize of a Chancellor’s Club Bursary to attend the University of Calgary, valued at $2,500.  The bursary this year was awarded to Craig Fiedorek, grade 11, for his project entitled Capturing the Value of Melody.

Congratulations to all the 2015 CYSF award winners!

Winners of other university-sponsored awards were:

Elementary Level (grade 5 – 6):

Anna Birns, grade 5, The Pill Box Reminder

Best elementary project demonstrating testing and comparison of products with commercial potential — sponsored by Haskayne School of Business

Tabitha Helfrich, grade 5, Why We Should Ban Fishbowls!

Best project addressing an animal health-related problem or question — sponsored by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Teodora Pollak, grade 5, Mathematics of Music

Winner for a high-scoring elementary project making major use of mathematics — sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Sarah Sait, grade 6, How In(ternet)dependent Are We?

Winner of research-oriented social science — sponsored by the Faculty of Arts

Alexander Stratmoen, grade 6, Move 2 Learn

Awarded admission to an engineering or science Minds in Motion summer camp — sponsored by Minds in Motion

Catalina Van der Raadt, grade 6, Dare to Drink

Awarded to the top elementary project in earth science showing innovation and imagination — sponsored by the Department of Geoscience

Anya Pedersen, grade 6, Calgary, Dust, Clean it Up

Runner-up for an elementary earth science project — sponsored by the Department of Geoscience

Intermediate Level (grade 7-9)

Manahil Naveed, grade 7, What is Color Blindness?

Sponsored by Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Faris Fizal, grade 8, Outstanding Oxygen: The Tool for Success

Sponsored by Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Izzah Khairi and Katherine Yuan, grade 8, Mind Your Own Business

Best secondary project demonstrating creativity and innovation with commercialization potential — sponsored by Haskayne School of Business

Matthew Kroeker, grade 8, Calgary’s Suburban Snake Survival

Best senior project addressing an animal health relation problem — sponsored by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Tyler Meckelborg, grade 8, Wheelchair Robotic Arm: Robots Helping People

Runner-up for a top calibre engineering project involving solving a problem or creating a project — sponsored by Schulich School of Engineering

Tahmid Khan, grade 9, Adaptive Wheels

Best overall consumer award with a focus on sustainability — sponsored by Haskayne School of Business

Colette Benko, grade 9, Investigating (AT/RT) Exosomes

Top biochemistry or experimental biology— sponsored by Cumming School of Medicine

Bennett Gibson-Dunne, grade 9, A Smart Material for a Smart Building

Awarded for top secondary project in earth science showing innovation and imagination— sponsored by the Department of Geoscience

Saad Ahmad Khan, grade 9, Water Quality of Pristine Water

Runner-up for a secondary earth science project— sponsored by the Department of Geoscience

Senior Level (grade 10-12)

Sunand Kannappan, grade 10, Elucidating the Role of CDK5RAP2 in NSCLC

An outstanding project in the Medical Sciences field— sponsored by Snyder Institute

Yuwei Xia Xia, grade 11, Targeting Overexpressed Enzyme in Cancer

Award for demonstrating outstanding academic achievement— sponsored by Faculty Women’s Club

Quinlan Sykora and Anna Verkhovskaya, grade 11, Laser Microphone

Awarded to a high scoring project making major use of mathematics— sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

Craig Fiedorek, grade 11, Capturing the Value of Melody

Awarded to a high scoring project making major use of mathematics— sponsored by the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

Quinlan Sykora and Anna Verkhovskaya, grade 11, Laser Microphone

Winner for a top caliber engineering project involving solving a problem or creating a project— sponsored by Schulich School of Engineering