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News Release: All four Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair Finalists from FMPSD - Heading to CWSF

News Release: All four Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair Finalists from FMPSD - Heading to CWSF

Clockwise: Aarushi, Sai, Dhyan and Neel - Heading to the CWSFClockwise: Aarushi, Sai, Dhyan and Neel - Heading to the CWSF

(Fort McMurray, AB, April 29, 2021) They did it again! It was another banner year for Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) students at the 13th annual Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair (WBRSF), held on April 24, 2021. They secured 33 out of 37 awards! And, all four finalists Aarushi Vasal, Neel Patel, Dhyan Patel and Sai Shankar are from FMPSD and are heading to the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) to represent the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, albeit virtually this time. The event will be relayed from Ottawa, May 17-21.

Aarushi, who is in grade 9 at Westwood Community High School won for her project on Yeast in Bioremediation. She explained more on the project, and shared on heading to the nationals. 

“I tested to see if micro-organisms such as yeast may be used to filter amounts of heavy metals from water through the process of bioremediation (which is the use of living organisms, like microbes and bacteria, to remove contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from soil, water, and other environments.)”

“I feel honoured and excited to represent our region at the CWSF. I am glad we were able to hold the science fair this year as it provided great opportunities during this challenging time. During the CWSF, I am looking forward to learning from other youth across the country and sharing my interests in STEM,” she added.

Neel Patel and Dhyan Patel, who are both in grade 11 at Westwood Community High School worked on The Combination of Braille and Artificial Intelligence to Enhance the Impaired Navigation Experience. They shared more.

“Our project was creating a Braille Belt using Braille and technology that allowed those with visual and auditory impairments to achieve greater independence in their lives. We are very excited to represent our community at the Canada Wide Science Fair and cannot wait to see what other cool projects are at the fair. We hope to meet like-minded youth to share our passion for technology and gain important feedback from them. We are also very grateful and wanted to thank WBRSF and the community for making this opportunity possible despite the difficult conditions.”

École McTavish High School’s Sai Shankar, who is in grade 12, created a project called Alert! A Photosensitive Epilepsy Caution System

“I created a caution system that can be mounted on photosensitive glasses, which sends warning signals of harmful light patterns before they trigger seizures in photosensitive epileptic individuals. The system sends a signal by making a sharp sound when the frequency of the light changes rapidly, which can be modified to suit the needs of the user,” explained Sai.

“I am incredibly thankful and excited to be able to represent our region at the Canada Wide Science Fair. I am looking forward to all the amazing experiences to come!” he enthused.

Jeremy Hiscock, President, Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation, which oversees the WBRSF is also our Composite High School science teacher. He appreciated all the participants. 

“This year has been challenging for everyone in so many ways. The Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation was determined to persevere through these challenges and put on our extraordinary event. Through a tremendous effort by our team, with support from our sponsors and volunteers, we were able to present the opportunity for 28 of our budding scientists to let their curiosity blossom - virtually.”

“The Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair has been getting more intense over time, as students continue to exceed expectations year after year. The perseverance of our youth really shone through this year; as always, they put on quite a show for our judges. A dazzling display of innovation, experimentation, and research was well-rewarded, and we are so proud of their hard work and ingenuity. Congratulations to all of the brilliant exhibitors, and a massive thank you to the judges and sponsors. I am ecstatic to see what our grade 4-6 students will bring on May 7 for our elementary virtual science fair!” added Hiscock.

Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD, congratulated all the participants, and the finalists. 

“We are so proud of all our students who worked diligently on their projects. What talent! Congratulations Aarushi, Sai, Neel and Dhyan. You’ve made us proud. The ingenuity, deep thinking, and desire to make the world a better place is evident in your work, and we thank you for that. We can’t wait to see you compete at the Canada Wide Science Fair!”

The elementary grades virtual science fair award ceremony will be on May 8, 2021. It’ll be broadcast live via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WBRSF.

Congratulations all!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager          

Fort McMurray Public School Division