Canada-Wide Science Fair announces winners

56th annual fair for nation's young scientists took place in Regina, Saskatchewan
canada-wide science fair Danish Mahmood, Crystal Radinski, and Colette Benko were the platinum award winners at the 2017 Canada-Wide Science Fair. (Courtesy of Youth Science Canada)

From May 12 to May 20, OWLconnected celebrated Science Odyssey with a series of STEM-related posts (STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). Science Odyssey is all about helping to promote STEM programs across Canada. We love that idea! And there's no bigger STEM event than the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

This event is put on every year by Youth Science Canada. It has been happening for 56 years now. This year it was from May 15-20, and this past Friday, May 19, the winners were announced. There was a platinum, or top, winner in each of three age categories: Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. Want to see who took home the prizes? Of course you do!

And the winners were...

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Colette Benko and Danish Mahmood explain their award-winning projects to the crowd. (Courtesy of Youth Science Canada)

Danish Mahmood, a Grade 8 student from London, Ontario, won the Junior Platinum Award for a project called W.I.N.I.T.S (Wireless Interconnected Non-Invasive Triage System). His device lets paramedics quickly share and monitor vital information about patients during a crisis. ("Triage" is a system for figuring out which patients need medical attention first.)

Crystal Radinski, a Grade 10 student from Calgary, Alberta, won the Intermediate Award for her work on Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's affects memory. People who suffer from it are slowly no longer able to remember things. Crystal compared healthy brains to the brains of Alzheimer's patients to try to discover better techniques for diagnosing the disease.

Finally the award for Senior and Top Project of the entire fair went to Colette Benko, a Grade 11 student also from Calgary. Her project was called Novel Paediatric Cancer Therapy ("paediatric" is medical science used to treat children). She found a new use for a current drug to treat a deadly childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

Well done, Colette, Crystal, and Danish!

Hundreds of the best

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The Canada-Wide Science Fair was a flagship event for Science Odyssey, a nationwide promotion of science. (Courtesy of Youth Science Canada)

The fair gave out nearly $1 million in cash awards and scholarships, and showcased 500 of Canada's best young scientists from grades 7 to 12. There were about 400 individual projects on display!

This year's winners may have all been focused on medical science, but the fair's many projects investigated solutions to lots of other global issues, such as energy, the environment, wildlife, and technological innovation (a.k.a. super cool new stuff!). Here's a video of the CBC interviewing many of the other students involved.

We really love what Rachel had to say at the end of that video. "I just find it really interesting to investigate a question that you have, rather than just being handed the curriculum and being told what to learn." We couldn't have said it better ourselves (really, we couldn't!).

What does science mean to you? Would you like to participate in the 2018 Canada-Wide Science Fair? Maybe we'll be writing about you next year!

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