Cierra Walthers explains her scientific findings of the “Creation of Silly Putty” to one of the judges

Cierra Walthers explains her scientific findings of the “Creation of Silly Putty” to one of the judges

Science exhibits dazzle judges

A passion for science has proved popular locally.

The region’s youngest scientists were celebrated last weekend at the North Okanagan/Shuswap Regional Science Fair at the Okanagan College Kalamalka campus.

Students from grades 4 to 11 showed off their passion for science with project topics including the physics of tsunamis, greywater recycling, and robotics.

“We are so proud of these students,” said Sandi Dixon, executive director of the Okanagan Science Centre, which hosted the event. “They showed that science is fun and can be used to better understand the mysteries of their world. We look forward to seeing even more students participate in next year’s regional science fair.”

Laura Stothers Dawson, a Grade 7 Coldstream Elementary student, who won best overall entry, will be taking her project, “Cloning the Future,” to the 50th annual Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF).

The CWSF will be held in Toronto from May 14 to 21, where Dawson will compete against students from across the country for over $40,000 in scholarships.

Dawson created a survey as part of her project to gauge public opinion on cloning. She’s hoping more people will take the survey before she goes to the Toronto fair. You can find her one-minute cloning survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CloningSurvey

“It was easy to see how hard the participants worked and it paid off in the excellent projects they presented,” said Dixon. “It was tough to pick just one project to represent our region at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.”

Other top prizes awarded were the BC Innovation Council Award, presented to Grade 11 Vernon Christian School student Christian Michalewicz for his project titled “Endless Shower in a Greywater System,” and the BC Science Teacher’s Award which was given to Lavington Elementary Grade 7 student Desiree Gosselin’s for her project “Tsunamis…the Unexpected Disaster.”

The top three projects for each grade division included:

Grades 4-6

1st Place – Cierra Walthers, Lavington Elementary: “The Creation of Silly Putty;”

2nd Place – Hailey Preston, Lavington Elementary: “Lots of Water = Lots of Power;”

3rd Place – Elise Fullerton, Coldstream Elementary: “Why did World Trade Centre 7 Fall so Quickly?”

Grades 7-8

1st Place – Laura Stothers Dawson, Coldstream Elementary: “Cloning the Future;”

2nd Place – Desiree Gosselin, Lavington Elementary: “Tsunamis…The Unexpected Disaster;”

3rd Place – Alexis Hyde and Madison Catt, Ellison Elementary: “What Materials can be Used to Produce Light?”

Grades 11-12

1st Place – Christian Michalewicz, Vernon Christian School: “Endless Shower In a Greywater System.”

Over 20 members of the local community volunteered their time to judge projects and organize the fair.

“This was the first time a science fair has been held in the North Okanagan for several years,” said Jennifer Miles, regional science fair coordinator.

“It was the support of volunteers, particularly from Okanagan College and Summit Environmental Consultants, which made this fair a success. Every participant at this year’s fair told me they want to do it again next year and I hope that the community can keep this momentum going.”

The OSC is looking to the community for support to expand the fair and welcomes anyone interested in volunteering on next year’s organizing committee, particularly a chairperson to spearhead the effort, to contact the centre.