Doing What’s Best for Kids

FMPSD Students Shine at the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair

Posted on: General News

(Fort McMurray, AB - March 19th, 2024) In the bustling corridors of innovation and discovery at the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair held on March 15 and 16, Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) students shone like beacons of ingenuity and promise. Showcasing a masterful blend of creativity, scientific rigour, and an unwavering commitment to excellence, these young learners left an indelible mark on the event, sweeping an impressive tally of awards and honours that underscored their superior talents and dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.

FMPSD students dominated the fair, securing a stunning 22 out of the 30 medals awarded during the event. Their achievement did not stop there; they also clinched 21 of the 30 Special Awards, a testament to their innovative projects and exceptional presentations. However, perhaps the most prestigious accolade came with the announcement of the grand prize winners, all four of whom are students from Westwood Community High School. They didn't just win medals or recognition; they earned invitations to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, a national stage where the brightest young minds converge to showcase their scientific inquiries and breakthroughs.

The grand prize winners - Shayan Awan, Lalithya Raavi, Tanya Jivani, and Riley Saha Halder - did not just stand out for their exceptional projects. They also became a source of pride for their school and the Wood Buffalo region. Their achievements at the fair underscore the potent mix of creativity, scientific inquiry, and dedication deeply embedded in FMPSD's educational culture. Shayan, Lalithya, Tanya, and Riley are now poised to represent Wood Buffalo nationally at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. This event brings together the country's brightest young minds to showcase their innovative projects and compete at a national level. It's an opportunity for these students to compete and engage with like-minded peers from across Canada, share ideas, and foster a love for science and technology.

Riley Saha Halder captivated the judges with her project, "Enhancing Bioplastic Performance Using Eggshell Waste and Chitosan." This innovative study explored the use of eggshell waste and chitosan as fillers in starch-based bioplastics, aiming to enhance the material's performance and promote sustainability by utilizing waste materials.

"Attending the CWSF holds immense significance for me. Throughout my passionate involvement in the WBRSF for years, my ultimate aspiration has always been to represent our region nationally. It's an opportunity to gain valuable experience and hopefully make meaningful contributions," shared an ecstatic Riley.

Shayan Awan, a visionary in the truest sense, leveraged the power of brainwaves with his pioneering project, a brainwave-powered vision enhancement device designed to alleviate the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome. This perceptual processing disorder had long eluded effective treatment, but Awan's innovative approach, utilizing Electroencephalography (EEG) technology and self-swapping optical filters, painted a new horizon. His dedication and thoughtful engineering earned him a prestigious place among the winners, and his eyes were already set on the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

"I am excited to attend the Canada Wide Science Fair again this year. Going to the CWSF is all about getting together with other science geeks like me and checking out all the cool stuff we've been working on. It's a chance to learn something new and see how far we can push our ideas." said a motivated Awan, ready to explore the vast fields of STEM and connect with like-minded innovators.

The dynamic duo, Lalithya Raavi and Tanya Jivani embarked on a mission to tackle one of the century's most pressing challenges: sustainable energy. Their project, "Fuelling the Future: Investigating Electrolyte Ratios in Optimizing Hydrogen Production," sought to revolutionize hydrogen production with a more accessible and cost-effective methodology. By experimenting with magnesium sulfate concentrations, they paved the way for cheaper hydrogen production and demonstrated the potential for this method to scale, moving us closer to a renewable energy future. 

Lalithya and Tanya’s passion and commitment were palpable as they spoke of their project's reach beyond the regional fair to the national stage, understanding the weight and privilege of representing their community on such a platform.

"Attending CWSF last year was a remarkable experience. During our time in Edmonton last year, we learned many communication skills. We better understood how to showcase our results and the research we did effectively. We plan to continue working on these skills this year and strive to grow from last year's experience. Being given another opportunity to attend CSWF means a lot to us. It allows us to bring our project to a larger audience and learn and grow. It means a lot to represent our community at the national fair."

Each project presented by the FMPSD students was a narrative of hard work, resilience, and a relentless quest for answers to complex questions that confound even the most seasoned scientists. From environmental conservation efforts to applying advanced technology in solving real-world problems, their projects embodied various interests and disciplines, reflecting the diverse talents and passions of the FMPSD.

The success of the FMPSD students at the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair is more than just a collection of awards and accolades; it is a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of education to inspire and equip the next generation with the tools they need to invent, innovate, and impact the world positively. The fair was not just a competition; it was a celebration of youth potential, a reflection of the supportive environment fostered by teachers, mentors, and the broader community within the FMPSD, and an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved when young minds are encouraged to ask questions, seek answers, and dream big.

Congratulations to all the FMPSD students for their outstanding performance and achievements; the future of science is brighter because of your curiosity, determination, and hard work.

For additional information, contact:

Momin Syed                                                           
Communications Coordinator
Fort McMurray Public School Division