Vancouver Island youth bring home awards from National Science Fair in Ottawa


WATCH: Some of the country’s top youth scientists live on Vancouver Island and on the Gulf Islands. Half a dozen of them competed at the Canada-wide science fair last week, bringing home prizes and awards. Isabelle Raghem reports.

A few of Canada’s top young scientists live right here on Vancouver Island.

“Some of these kids could potentially graduate [high school] with scientific papers published,” said Erin Dallin, a science teacher at Glenlyon Norfolk School.

Seven students representing the south Island took part in the Canada-wide Science Fair in Ottawa last week, facing off against 500 other grade 7 to grade 12 scientists from across the country.

“We ended up coming home with some awards which were also great,” added Dallin.

“I was lucky enough to win platinum this year,” said Grade 11 student Nicolas Fedrigo, “I was really surprised.”

The Claremont high school student took home the top award in the senior division for redesigning a tool to help surgeons avoid mistakes during spinal surgery.

“If [the probe] is off by a degree that could cause paralysis, bad infections,” said Fedrigo.

That why he found a way to warn users when too much force is being used.

“When it passes 8 newtons, 1000 RPMS vibration motor turns on as well as an LED light and that provides the feedback to the surgeons,” added Fedrigo.

Other prize winners include Albert Yang who won bronze for his robots which could help search and rescues and Melody Cheng who won silver in her division for a solution to a big problem.

“I designed a filtration system that could potentially be used to filter BPA,” said the grade 10 student, “people can use around the world and it’s going to be accessible and cheap.”

It’s hard work that can lead to big acknowledgments.

“It’s a scholarship for $25,000 to a university in Canada,” said grade 12 student Ella Chan.

Chan who has already participated in the science fair has now been granted the national STEAM horizon award for youth engaging with sciences.

“I’ve been running a YouTube page since I was 12 years old called Sci Files where I started my stem outreach online and then more recently I wrote a book called stem files trying to engage young children in perusing the sciences,” added Chan.

She’ll be using her funds to study science at UBC next year.

These bright young minds are showing the country why the future of science is in good hands.


Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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