News Release: FMPSD Students Shine at Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair

L-R: Dhrumil Shah, Shaaf Babar, and Dhvani Patel are heading to the Canada-Wide Science Fair later this month - representing Fort McMurray and Alberta

(FORT MCMURRAY, AB, May 2, 2017) Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) congratulates all participants and winners, who enjoyed another year of amazing success at  the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair (WBRSF). The 10th annual event was held on April 29, 2017 at Shell Place and what a day it turned out to be for District students.

The event saw 28 medals out of 36 going to FMPSD and 23 out of 29 Special Awards also secured by our students. Three out of the four finalists selected for the Canada-Wide Science Fair were from FMPSD.

Shaaf Babar, grade 7, Ecole McTavish Junior High School, Dhvani Patel and Dhrumil Shah, both in grade 11 from Westwood Community High School are heading to Regina for the Canada-Wide Science Fair from May 15 to May 20.

This will be Dhrumil Shah’s third year in a row at the nationals. His project Enhancing Electrolyzer Performance: Discovering the Separation of the Faradic Currents was over a year in the making.

“My project deals with hydrogen production, which is a clean and promising fuel. I’ve tried to find the best way to create it in a safe and efficient manner. Because it’s so clean, it’s not environmentally harmful, and makes sense economically,” explains Dhrumil.

“Being able to represent Fort McMurray, and Alberta once again at the Canada-Wide Science Fair is very cool. It’s one of the best weeks of the year as I get to meet many people, and see amazing projects,” he added.

Shaaf Babar is looking forward to the national event.

“I feel very good about winning,” said Shaaf, whose project Street Smart features a mobile application that detects bumps/potholes and tracks their location for the Municipality as well as a component that allows residents to share feedback with the Municipality via Twitter.

Dhvani Patel, who is heading to the national event for a second year in a row can’t wait for May 15. His project SMART Agriculture Technology is about increasing economically increasing productivity for farmers, and reducing water usage, among other things.

“I was talking to a farmer in Edmonton who said we have the technology, but it’s so costly, we can’t use the help. So not only does my project help developing countries, but developed countries too. I will be testing it on farms in Edmonton and Saskatchewan,” Dhvani enthused.

Vicki Dawe, WBRSF board member and Westwood Community High School science teacher was delighted with the event.

“It was extra-exciting this year to celebrate our tenth anniversary. It was nice to reflect on how much the fair has grown and developed over the past years. The number of student projects, and their quality has only increased.  Much thanks are due to the students, teaching staff, and parents in our community. Inquiry-based science is helping our students become better prepared to face future challenges including dealing with climate change, a planet with tremendous population growth, and the spread of new infectious diseases, and more,” she said.

“It was so inspiring to see last year's wildfire provided the inspiration for many projects at our fair. For example, we had students testing how the presence of vegetation around a home can affect the likelihood of their home catching fire. We had a student investigate the effects of the wildfire on our drinking water. One student made a fire-fighting robot. Another interesting one had students investigate how low-frequency sounds can extinguish fires. The ingenuity of our youth never ceases to amaze me,” Dawe added.

Superintendent Doug Nicholls was impressed with the projects, and the turnout for the event.

“We are pleased to see the event grow every year. Thanks to Vicki Dawe for her leadership on this, and to our students, staff, parents and volunteers, who work hard to make the projects happen. We are proud to champion science and technology in our schools, and the results show in student success featuring innovative approaches  and excellence in execution. Congratulations to all winners and participants.”

For additional information contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Coordinator

Fort McMurray Public School District  

(C) 780-880-7666 / (W) 780-788-8009

kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca