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Fire/cease-fire and Dreissenid mussel projects win at regional Science Fair

What does a fire/cease-fire have to do with physics, chemistry or mathematics? What are the differences among Dreissenid mussel populations, associated biofilms and pseudofaecal material? Giovind Pisharodi, Moira Secondary School, and Theresa DeCola, Bayside Secondary School, know the answers. They are the creators of two award-winning projects at the Quinte Regional Science & Technology Fair.

For Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, the best in grade winners this year were:

Theresa DeCola, Grade 10, Bayside Secondary School [2], won a spot on the Canada Wide Science Fair team for her project Localised differences in Dreissenid mussel populations, associated biofilms & pseudofaecal material.

Congratulations to Giovind Pisharodi and Theresa DeCola who were selected as finalists to compete in the Canada Wide Science Fair scheduled for May, 2013 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Their expenses will be paid for the 7-day event, a value of approximately $1,700.

The 54th Annual Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair (QRSTF) took place at Loyalist College in Belleville, Saturday, April 6, 2013. Approximately 135 colourful, well-researched projects were on display from Grade 4 to 12 students from schools throughout Hastings County and Prince Edward County. Students competed for awards in several categories as they made presentations to 110 volunteer judges. The judges spoke with students to learn about the project prior to coming up with an evaluation. As part of the judging process every student received a written list of comments on how to improve future projects.

Numerous other volunteers helped out behind the scenes. Patron and Major sponsors provided funds to help send five finalists to the Canada Wide Science Fair, http://cwsf.youthscience.ca/ while other sponsors supplied prizes in the form of cash, trophies and an operating telescope.

The most endearing part of the QRSTF is the enthusiasm of the students. As soon as they are asked about their projects they enthusiastically explain their theories, results and every step along the way.

Pat Findlay, QRSTF Chief Judge said, ‘‘Probably the most enjoyable part of this for me, and the reason I keep coming back year after year, is to see the fascinating work performed by these young scientists and inventors. And, let’s make no mistakes about it, for the vast majority their work is every bit as rigorous as that of professionals in the field; it is only the scope and topic that is different. They won’t have the background yet, but they have the mindset, and with that, the background and skills will come. Case in point: where I work, there are engineering and computer science grads working today who are prior QRSTF competitors. Now that is amazing!’’

Throughout the morning, students were interviewed extensively during the first round of judging. First, Second, Third and Honourable Mentions, were awarded to each group of five to eight projects. A second round of judging was used to determine the best in each grade, specialty awards and the Canada Wide Science Fair awards.

For more information about the QRSTF or Canada Wide Science Fair, contact:
Scott Berry qrstfscience@gmail.com

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