Four western Manitoba high school students travelled to Ottawa last week to participate in the Canada Wide Science Fair at Carleton University.  It was a week filled with sharing the spotlight with about 400 fellow science-loving students from across the country. 

Abereham Moges (Christian Heritage School, Grade 7), Angelina Zhang (École New Era, Grade 8), Danielle Vrignon (École La Source, Grade 11), and Diego Gaudet (École La Source, Grade 12) were in Ottawa competing for top marks at the Canada Wide Science Fair.

These four students were the top award winners at the Western Manitoba Science Fair (WMSF) held at Brandon University in April, and they moved on to the Canada Wide Science Fair to represent Western Manitoba this past week.

"The Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) is the country’s largest annual youth science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) event, bringing together top young scientists and their projects, selected from a national network of over 100 regional STEM fairs in every province and territory," states co-coordinator for the WMSF, Charlotte McConnell. "Ottawa welcomed around 400 brilliant young minds from across the country for this national weeklong event, giving finalists an opportunity to compete for cash prizes, scholarships, and special awards. In addition, they participated in a variety of STEM based activities and workshops."

"Aside from presenting their project to the judges, some of the activities this week have included: a night at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Carleton University lab experiences, a guided bus tour of highlights of Ottawa, ‘CWSF has talent’ show, and more," she adds. "School and public viewing welcomed visitors who engaged with the finalists about their projects. They also experienced STEM Expo – interactive and inspiring exhibits featuring ideas and opportunities in STEM."

Co-coordinator for the WMSF, Brookdale School Science teacher, and chaperone for the four Westman students, Robyn Forsman, said they had an incredible time touring Canada's Capital City, Museums and so much more!

Please listen to more on their Ottawa experience with Robyn Forsman below!

The awards ceremony was held on Thursday May 30th where two of our Westman students were awarded with significant awards!

Excellence Awards: The Excellence Awards recognize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) excellence:

Grade 7 student from Christian Heritage School in Brandon, Abereham Moges, won a Bronze Excellence Award in the Junior category for his project 'Mood Foods'.

Grade 11 student from Ecole La Source, CFB Shilo, Danielle Vrignon won Silver Excellence in the Senior category for her project, 'Buzzicompteur (Buzzicounter)'. 

Special Awards: Awards funded by sponsors to excellent projects meeting specific criteria:

Abereham Moges received the Actuarial Foundation of Canada Award: An outstanding project that demonstrates effective use of one or more of mathematics, database manipulation and statistical analysis, combined with written and oral communication skills and creativity to investigate or solve a complex problem. Preference may be given to projects that quantify potential losses or design creative ways to manage or reduce the likelihood or impact of undesirable events. $500 cash and certificate.

Robyn Forsman says there were about 35 Manitoba students participating at the Canada Wide fair.  "So, you're cheering for your own team, but also the greater Manitoba team!  So, whenever a Manitoba student got called then we were all excited! Abreham's award was the very first award of the night handed out, so to hear one of our Westman student's names called out first at the awards ceremony, it was kind of surreal!"

With their Excellence Awards, both Moges and Vrignon also received scholarship funding to be applied to post-secondary education at eight Canadian universities once they graduate from High School.

"It's such a huge thing to be there," adds Forsman. "At our orientation they were saying that in Canada there are about 500,000 students who do STEM projects each year so these kids at the Canada Wide Science Fair are the top .01% of all the students across the country that are doing STEM projects.  So, just to be there is such an accomplishment and then to receive medals and to be recognized at that level for these kids, it's pretty amazing!"

Westman Projects participating in the CWSF:

·         Abereham Moges Mood Foods: Testing the Impact of Nutrients on Cognitive Function and Reversing Neurodegeneration | ProjectBoard: YSC

·         Angelina Zhang Environmental and Genetic Factors in Cancer Risk | ProjectBoard: YSC

·         Danielle Vrignon: Buzzicompteur | ProjectBoard: YSC

·         Diego Gaudet: Chitine : Chic ou chagrin | ProjectBoard: YSC

All photos credit of the Western Manitoba Science Fair co-ordinator, Robyn Forsman.  

Visit their website HERE for more information and more photos!