UBC Okanagan to host school district science fair

More than 200 science projects on display at annual event taking place Tuesday and Wednesday at UBCO campus EME Building.

  • Mar. 2, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered about the secret lives of bacteria, how much DNA can fit into a cell, how gears work or what causes a tornado?

These and many other questions will be answered at the District Science Fair on Tuesday, March 3, and Wednesday, March 4, hosted in partnership with UBC Okanagan.

A highlight of the year for inquisitive science students, the fair is an opportunity to impress the judges and possibly win a spot in the regional fair at Summerland Secondary. From there, the top six students in British Columbia will travel to a national fair in New Brunswick to compete for $400,000 in prizes and scholarships.

Central Okanagan teachers Tobias Blaskovits, Wynter Oakes, Tricia Labrie, Pamela Horton, Agnes Gagliano, John Prescott, Amy Breck, Janessa Bryant, and Barbara Hofmann have worked alongside UBCO staff to organize the yearly District Science Fair.

This year there will be over 200 projects on display and 300 students in attendance. The event takes place at UBC Okanagan in the Engineering, Management and Education Building between 4 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The fair will be in both the EME Building and the Fipke Building from 9 a.m. to to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday with an awards ceremony to follow.

Student projects will be in two different categories: non-competitive (kindergarten to grade 5) will be participating for some great science prizes, and competitive (grade 6-12) will be competing for the “best in fair” prize and a chance to move on to the regional science fair.

Teams will also be chosen to win one of four UBCO Inspired Science Award prizes of $500 which students will bring back to their school.

“Science Fair is such an amazing opportunity for students to use the process of inquiry to investigate the world around them, and to demonstrate to the community, their skills as 21st century learners,” said  Blaskovits. “Students of all grades can choose a topic that they are interested in, and test the boundaries of their knowledge.

“Students who have participated in the past, have not only been given the opportunity to travel, meet other young scientists and earn monetary benefits from scholarships and awards, but they have also found a passion for science and an understanding of what it means to be learners, thinkers, innovators, contributors and collaborators.”

Participants in this year’s fair will be treated to a wonderful university experience with activities to be provided by students and instructors at UBCO on the second day of the fair. “As a research intensive institution, UBC is very pleased to host up-and-coming researchers to showcase their science projects to a diverse audience, and engage them in an actual research process lead by faculty from Education,” said Gordon Binsted, acting vice-principal, research and innovation, UBC’s Okanagan campus.

“The event is an exciting opportunity to support the important relationship between science and youth, and perhaps fuel a passion for curiosity and research in the next generation of decision makers, leaders, and game changers.” It promises to be a fun opportunity for students to show off their creative and critical thinking science skills.

Public visitors are welcome to explore the fair on Tuesday, March 3, between 4:30 and 7p.m. and on Wednesday, March 4,

between 9:30 a.m. and noon.

For more details, see sd23sciencefair.com.

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