The Government of BC declared 2011 the Year of Science and this year’s Regional Science Fair was held in Hazelton at the high school where organizers, judges and facilitators said it was one of the best in decades.
For HSS teacher Peter Schopfer the three day event was something he was not only proud to be a part of but Hazelton’s students should be feeling great about.
“This is by far the best we have had in a decade at least and a big hats off to Hazelton,” he said. “It was the first time in ten years we have had competitors from Terrace and Prince Rupert and the entire event was bathed in Hazelton hospitality making everyone feel like a winner.”
The students came and set up on Friday after school and were then treated to some great entertainment, Schopfer said.
“After the kids set up they had dinner and were entertained by the world class Gitsegukla Dancers,” he said. “After that they had the opportunity to hear an inspiring talk on Climate Change by renowned chemistry professor Todd Whitcombe from UNBC, who also helped with judging.”
During the seminar, the judges arrived and spent several hours going over the projects and preparing questions to ask the students Saturday morning. Things got off to an early start and all the students presented their science hypotheses and their conclusions by 11 a.m. From there the judges made their decisions and later in the afternoon the awards were handed out with four projects being chosen to go to the Canada Wide Competition.
Winners continuing on include Alec Busby and Tyler Scott from HSS with their project on “Biodiesel, The Fuel of the Future,” Arctica Cunningham from Smithers Secondary with her project on “Exhaustless Defrost – The Simplest Solution,” Kiri Daust with his project titled “Multi-Criteria Decision Making in Dandelions” and Ethan McLelland from Saint Joe’s in Smithers with his project “Who’ll Stop the Rain?”.
While the judges were deliberating in the afternoon on Saturday the competitors got to participate in a unique program where they got to design and build different things in a Science Olympics organized by the HSS Grade 12 Chemistry class.
The students built things such as chemically fuelled rockets, a capsule to drop an egg 20 feet on the concrete without breaking, plasterscene boats to see how many pennies they could carry without sinking, paper airplanes and structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks.
“It was really amazing to see what they did,” Schopfer said. “And to see Rick Friesen from Smithers Secondary getting all 86 kids to build a rocket was amazing. But the thing that really made it work was the senior Hazelton Grade 12 students who supervised all of the events to help make it a phenomenal success.
For student Alana Harrison, it was a great three-day event that started on Thursday with Hazelton students doing all the same events offered to the competitors.
“I was really amazed to see how all the students got right into all the events,” she said. “It was beyond my wildest dreams and a total success. I am really glad we did it and so many people enjoyed it.”
All in all it was not only a great tribute to the Hazeltons Schopfer said, it would not have been possible without the help of the Northwest Community College.
“ A really big thank you to NWCC for their ongoing support with the science fair,” he said. “The Gitsegukla dancers, the food and the supplies for the fair fun day was all thanks to them.”
Other winners were as follows: Junior Gold went to Robyn Douglas – “Worms, Worms, Worms” from St. Joe’s, Elena Schuffert and Emily Hobley with “I Can’t Concentrate” from Muheim. Junior Silver was awarded to; Jessica Horton “This is the Air You Breathe” from BVCHS, Shey Mackenzie “The Toxin Test” from St. Joe’s, Garth Lester “Hey, I Drink That Water” from BVCHS, Nikki and Maya Jenne-Depey “Grow, Grow, Grow” from St. Joe’s, Jacob Cachia “Just Recycle It” from St. Joe’s. Junior Bronze went to: Daniel Ripmeister “What Material Absorbs The Best?” from BVCHS, Owen Sikkes “Race Your Marbles” from St. Joe’s and Brian Patrick-Silvernthorne “Do Video Games Improve Hand-Eye..?”
Elementary awards were Gold: Siani Grice, Tervor Schibli, Trichelle Reay. Silver went to Will Bridgewood, Ewan Morgan, Matthew Steventon and Katerina Cociani and Bronze winners were Georgina Richardson, Teslin Weiland and Olivia Moore, Chantel Dewijn, Lauren Mosimann, Alannah Moismann, Caden Forster, Megan Gerret and Kalea Raposo. Honorable mention was Michaela Deevy, Amanda Scott and Erin Johnstone, Emereen Saefkow and Rory Finnegan.
Additional winners were Tirion Grice “Paperless Office” BVCS took gold in Intermediate, Kim Tran “Reflective Power” from SSS took bronze for the seniors and Lia Lazzarotto from HSS captured silver in the senior for “Does the Sun Seek Out the Old?”.