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Burnaby Students Shine at Virtual Science Fairs

While COVID-19 has brought changes to many annual events, through perseverance, partnerships and creativity, many students were able to have the opportunity to participate in virtual science fairs. We’ve captured some exciting results from the fairs below involving our very own Burnaby School District students – including one fair co-organized by two of our students.

Science Fair Foundation BC held a Virtual Science Fair for BC and Yukon with seven of our students receiving awards at an online ceremony in June. Winning projects were largely focused on solutions to environmental problems like the study of electrocoagulation flotation to combat harmful algae blooms, the invention of a portable pollen tracking system, and bio-friendly extraction of microplastics in water. A team of two also won the innovation award for game development.

Congratulations to the following students on their provincial awards.

William Li & Rowan Ross
Burnaby North Secondary
A Bio-Friendly Extraction of Microplastics from Water
Engineers and Geoscientists Award

Wendy Fang
Moscrop Secondary
X-Pollen: A Portable Pollen Tracking System
Engineers and Geoscientists Award

Mark Hao Jun Pan & Mihailo Misic
Moscrop Secondary
The Electrocoagulator: Utilizing Electrocoagulation Flotation to Combat Harmful Algae Blooms
Nature Award

Leo Zhu & Thomas Einstein
Alpha Secondary
Meet Joe
Game Developers Innovation Award

Meanwhile, Claire and Vanessa Scrimini – two sisters from Burnaby North Secondary – co-organized the first-ever North American virtual science fair, featuring the work of students from Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Earlier in February, the Scrimini twins represented BC at the International Science Fair held in Taiwan. Competing against 300 young scientists from 20 countries, the sisters brought home a silver medal. Then in a matter of weeks, student travel and events were halted due to COVID-19. The sisters got their start in such competitions as the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair in 2018 and took home the gold medal at the Canada Wide Science Fair in 2019. Both events were cancelled for 2020, following restrictions on public gatherings. Still, the twins wanted to find a way for other students to come together and benefit from a similar experience. Claire and Vanessa, along with two other high school students from Ontario and New Brunswick, whom they met at the Taiwan event, decided to work together to create an alternative.

The resulting virtual competition drew over 400 submissions. The top 200 presented their STEM projects to industry leaders and university professors over the summer, with $2 million in prizes, including an all-expense paid trip to the international science fair at a yet undetermined date, and a number of scholarships.

Congratulations to all of our students on their incredible science fair accomplishments during a highly unusual time!

Read the Burnaby Now story About the Virtual Science Fair.

Learn More About the Silver Medal Win at the International Science Fair


Posted August 2020