Taken from The Windsor Star.
Four students from Windsor-area high schools have earned medals for their research at the 2014 Canada-Wide Science Fair, held at the University of Windsor.
Of the 463 students participating from all parts of Canada, Windsor earned one gold, two silvers and one bronze. Brynn Charron, a fourth-year participant and Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey Secondary School, took home a bronze for her study of the difference in genetic material between laboratory mice and wild mice.
“Laboratories have been the general animal testing model for the past several decades and have provided a lot of information to researches,” said Charron. “However, they don’t allow us to look at the environmental component of diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.”
Charron, who is deciding between studying bio-chemistry at Windsor or the University of Western Ontario, began the project in November. She traveled to Western every other Friday to work on the project with a biology professor.
Abhi Gupta, a Grade 9 student at Massey, earned a silver for designing a way ALS patients can use their eyes and a computer to speak. He became interested in the project, named the iWriter, because his late uncle used a ventilator and was unable to speak.
“I think it will help me on my resume because it shows that I’m not the average employee and I have other skills I can bring to my table and it also just helps me think critically ... and it helps me become different from others because I’m not just studying school,” he said.
Gupta said he has been asked by a representative from an ALS foundation to attend a conference in London and will try to patent his project.
The other Windsor medalists were Candace Brooks-Da Silva with the gold and Tasnia Nadil who won a silver.
Eileen Topliffe, the co-chair of the Windsor Host Committee, said Windsor students being among the winners validates some of the work performed in this area.
“They represented Windsor so well. It was a wonderful experience and it was tough for them because they were traveling to Windsor in order to do their own fair, so they were an extension of our host committee for sure,” Topliffe said.
Youth Science Canada runs the science fair and its executive director, Brad McCabe, said the 463 students were chosen from about 500,000 who launched a project and they’re judged by about 300 judges from the scientific field.
“These kids have amazing science aptitude which may not necessary reflect in their home school, but when they come here, they’ve got an amazing cohort of individuals that they can connect with and then continue to have those conversations moving forward,” said McCabe.
The CWSF is now in its 53rd year and Youth Science’s board chair Malcolm Butler said the work the students are doing now wouldn’t have been imaginable 20 years ago.
“We talk a lot about innovation as being the driver of the economy,” he said. "Innovation requires curiosity, it requires tenacity, it requires perseverance. That’s what all of these finalists are demonstrating with their work on the floor. It bodes very well for the future.”
Vincent Massey Secondary School Grade 9 student Abhi Gupta poses next to his exhibition at the Canada-Wide Science Fair at the St. Denis Centre May 16. Gupta won a silver medal.
• Brynn Charron, Vincent Massey Secondary School - "Environmental Influences on the Mutational Landscape of the Mouse Genome"
• Also from Vincent Massey Secondary School was Niya Vanganur with her project "Vast Waste to Watts Taste" (picture not available)
Award ceremony of young scientists at Canada Wide Science Fair 2014
A follow up story was run in The Windsor Star on May 16th, 2014. A copy of the story is available below.
Young inventors capture medals at Canada-Wide Science Fair
The Windsor Star
May 16, 2014 - 3:37 PM EDT
Crowds of rowdy school children departed from buses and waited to enter the venue — not for a movie or concert — but for science.
The 53rd Canada-Wide Science Fair came to an end Friday with an exhibition of the finalists’ projects in the University of Windsor St. Denis Centre Field House Exhibit Hall. Nearly $1 million in prizes were awarded along with bronze, silver and gold medals for junior, intermediate and senior levels of competition.
This was the second day children from schools in the Windsor region got to check out exhibits and talk to local students who took part in the event, Vincent Massey Secondary School student like Abhi Gupta, 14.
Gupta’s project — A Novel Method of Communicating for ALS Patients — won him a silver medal in the intermediate category. The project which took Gupta a year and a half to complete was tested by an ALS patient with help from his family doctor.