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News Release: Westwood Student One of 30 Selected Across Canada for Prime Minister’s Science Fair

Dhvani Patel won Silver at the CWSF this May landing him a spot at the PM's Science FairDhvani Patel won Silver at the CWSF this May landing him a spot at the PM's Science Fair

(Fort McMurray, AB - September 13, 2017) Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) proudly congratulates Dhvani Patel of Westwood Community High School, who is one of 30 students selected across Canada to present at the Prime Minister’s Science Fair. The prestigious event to be attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Kirsty Duncan, Federal Minister of Science - will take place September 26 on Parliament Hill.

Dhvani, who is in grade 12 received the email from Minister Duncan, which read, “this is a special event to recognize the accomplishments of some of Canada’s young scientists and innovators….an opportunity for you to showcase your accomplishments to an audience that will include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and myself.”

The fully funded trip to Ottawa came as a result of Dhvani’s outstanding project SMART Agriculture Technology showcased at the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) earlier this May. He focused on economically increasing productivity for farmers, and reducing water usage, among other things. He brought home a Silver medal, and was a “Challenge Division: Resources” winner in the senior category. This was also the first “Challenge Division” award for Wood Buffalo at CWSF.

“This feels great. I was excited when the email came in. I get to represent Westwood, FMPSD and Fort McMurray,” said Dhvani, 17, who is planning to attend University of Waterloo to study software engineering.

Dhvani made District headlines in March 2016 after scoring 74 out of 75 on the Canadian Computing Competition, receiving the second highest mark in Canada on the tough University of Waterloo competition. He has secured Gold and Silver consistently at the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair, and CSWF representing Team Wood Buffalo few years in a row.

Cynthia Shelley, Principal, Westwood Community High School congratulated him.

“Dhvani Patel is an innovator and a wonderful role model for his peers, who is well-respected by his teachers. For the past several years, Westwood has been building strong advanced placement and computer science programs. I believe that Dhvani's accomplishments have been encouraged and fostered by the exposure to these programs. Along with his own inquisitive approach to learning, Ms. Dawe inspired him to think critically about solving a scientific problem. Mr. Vaughan inspired him to learn about robotics and apply his knowledge to new applications, and as Dhvani's science fair project mentor, Mr. El Mejdani further inspired him to merge the two arenas to come up with a solution to a world problem.”

“Dhvani's achievements are an extension of the kind of learning that can happen from the programming at Westwood. We are always proud of our student's achievements, but especially so when we know that we have had a role in molding those successes for students.”

“Dhvani is an amazing student who has earned many awards and received considerable recognition on the national level,” stated Doug Nicholls, Superintendent of Schools.

“His selection speaks to his abilities and the support he has received in our schools.  We could not be prouder of Dhvani and know that attending the Prime Minister’s Science Fair will be a phenomenal experience for him.”

The Prime Minister's Science Fair is based on former U.S. President Barack Obama’s “White House Science Fair,” which started in 2010. Youth Science Canada, host of CWSF was asked to submit a list of top award recipients from the CWSF and Team Canada from the past year, as well as their project information. The list included the three CWSF 2017 Grand Award winners, and the 18 Challenge Award recipients, among others.

Congratulations Dhvani!

For additional information please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan
Communications Coordinator
Fort McMurray Public School District #2833 
(C) 780-880-7666 / (W) 780-788-8009
kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca