Print Edition: April 4, 2012
The Fraser Valley Regional was held last week at UFV for the fourth consecutive year. Elementary and secondary students from the Fraser Valley showcased their talents with science-based projects that were a far stretch from the classic volcano model.
Right at the end of what has been “Youth Science Month” across Canada, Fraser Valley grade school students put on an impressive display of research-based projects up in the Envision Athletic Centre at UFV. Projects were put on display from Wednesday to Friday followed by an awards ceremony Friday afternoon.
Projects took on a wide variety of subjects from health to agricultural to music based experiments. Students tested the effects of certain foods and vitamins on the human body. They experimented to see what environments plants and animals would thrive in: natural vs. artificial. They played architect, making precise replicas in smaller form and one project even recreated an electric guitar using only simple materials.
The awards ceremony presented winning students with cash prizes and scholarships from local sponsors. Over $42,000 in awards were given to students who had outstanding projects that represented innovation in a particular or general category. Two hundred students from 21 local schools participated this year with a total of 160 projects on display for judgment and perusal.
Lead judge Dr. Ron Wilen of UFV’s Biology department seemed equal parts excited and overwhelmed about the event. He explained that he feared the coming of the event all year due to the abundance of talent presented because not all can be winners. He was clearly thrilled with all the projects he had viewed and was not looking forward to the difficult task of choosing the winners, considering the ample efforts put forth by all. Students from grades seven to 12 were competing for the ultimate prize, which was to be chosen to represent their region at the Canada-wide science fair in Charlotte Town, P.E.I., in May.
Students were self-motivated for the most part as many of the projects were not required for class credit. Students came out for science’s sake, motivated for reasons other than it being forced upon them by the class curriculum.